Serbia 2 Ireland 2: Player Ratings

Gavin Cummiskey rates Martin O’Neill’s side after their agricultural draw in Belgrade

 

Republic of Ireland player ratings:

22 Darren Randolph (West Ham United) Rating: 7

Nice parry in the 23rd minute after shot got deflected off Coleman’s thigh. Solid enough in the air. Vital glove to a low cross just before half-time. Goals not on him.

2 Seamus Coleman (Everton) Rating: 8

Long term leader. Horrid conditions for a fullback but coped expertly with in-swingers to his far post. Cleared two balls off the goal line and made a brilliant block on 53 minutes.

5 Richard Keogh (Derby County) Rating: 7

Won all his headers, of which there were far too many, on a night when he reinforced his importance as the first choice centre half.

4 John O’Shea (Sunderland) Rating: 5

The centurion must be struggling to keep his place. Under constant pressure due to back-pedalling midfield and was out muscled for possession leading up to Serbian equaliser.

17 Stephen Ward (Burnley) Rating: 5

Got a yellow card for the cleanest tackle he will ever make, not long after Branislav Ivanovic tried to castrate Whelan. Felt studs later and the ref only gave him a free.

6 Glenn Whelan (Stoke City) Rating: 6

The presence of Hendrick and Brady was supposed to make up a highly competitive midfield trio but Serbia dominated possession. The tackle that got him a yellow card in the 88th minute was worth the flight alone.

13 Jeff Hendrick (Burnley) Rating: 7

Early goal was lucky but still takes positional sense and a technically proficient footballer to keep the shot low and on target. Disgracefully booked for jumping. Key figure now.

10 Robbie Brady (Norwich City) Rating: 7

A new Robbie wears number ten in the post Keane era. Two nice moments leading up to Hendrick goal with his left foot deliveries the sharpest Irish weapon but out of position in central midfield.

19 Jon Walters (Stoke City) Rating: 6

Penalty looked a dive but there was enough contact for this referee to reward the team playing actual football. Still, a welcome return after an injury cursed Euros.

11 James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) Rating: 6

Ever see those weird children who love playing in the rain? The Derry winger probably abhors the easy ball into feet, wants to scrap, loves chasing the impossible. 78th minute header missed target.

9 Shane Long (Southampton) Rating: 7

The lone striker must take that 80th minute chance. Took a pounding in France this summer but Sunday’s hurling must have psyched this son of Tipperary for another punishing shift. Provided assist for Hendrick goal.

Subs Rating: 8

Daryl Murphy we never doubted you. Stephen Quinn for Ward does not bode well for Wes Hoolahan remaining a key figure on the road to Russia. Quinn in midfield with Brady at left back gave Ireland a better attacking shape.

Manager Rating: 7

As soon as Ireland went one-nil up after a few seconds the tactics were to have what we hold. Play no football. Only at 1-2 did the players come to life. A long and winding campaign is promised.

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