Switzerland 2 Ireland 0: How the Irish players rated

Not a night to remember in Geneva as Malachy Clerkin hands out the marks

  James McClean and Glenn Whelan after Ireland conceded the goal in the first half. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

James McClean and Glenn Whelan after Ireland conceded the goal in the first half. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Darren Randolph

Ireland’s best player. Got down for a smart save from Xhaka in the opening exchanges, followed later on by an even better one from a Seferovic header. Capped it all off with the penalty save. Really couldn’t have done much more. Rating 8

Séamus Coleman

Unusually sloppy in possession, albeit he was far from alone in that. Got a bit cranky too, which put him on the referee’s radar and left him treading a fine line to stay on the pitch. Unlucky to walk for a last-ditch tackle handball but had been struggling. Rating 3

John Egan

Had Seferovic covered in the build-up to the goal but didn’t pass him on effectively, leaving the Swiss striker with too much space. Managed a couple of smart interceptions but his distribution was never up to snuff. Rating 5

Shane Duffy

Possibly unlucky that the goal threaded the needle through his full-body tackle but needed to be alive to Seferovic sooner in any case. Made his usual share of blocks and tackles. Rating 6

Seamus Coleman leaves the field after receiving a red card.
Séamus Coleman leaves the field after receiving a red card.

Enda Stevens

Hands full with Embolo all night and just about broke even. Forceful and positive going forward, frequently a bigger threat than McClean. In keeping with the rest of the team, his passing was lacking in both guile and precision. Rating 5

James McClean

Thanks for everything, James. But time’s surely up. Put Ireland under pressure in the lead up to the Swiss goal with a deadening waste of a free kick. More involved as the game wore on but his limitations in possession feel symptomatic of the team as a whole these days. Rating 3

Alan Browne

Looked like a lad who’d sat down at a high-roller poker table by accident. Never comfortable on the ball and eased out of possession in the run-up to an early Xhaka chance. Had to fill in at right back when Coleman went off. Rating 4

Glenn Whelan

Admirable, durable, unstinting. And yet, and yet - it’s a bad sign for Ireland that he’s the one who has to do all the chasing and harrying in midfield at the age of 35. Was out on his feet long before the end and still managed a goal-saving tackle in the 93rd minute. Rating 6

Ireland’s Aaron Connolly with Nico Elvedi of Switzerland.
Ireland’s Aaron Connolly with Nico Elvedi of Switzerland.

Jeff Hendrick

Ireland’s problems always boil down to a lack of composure and ball-retention in midfield and though an unfair load falls on Hendrick in that regard, it’s nights like this that he’s found most wanting. Couldn’t get a grip on the middle third and Ireland were over-run as a result. Rating 5

Aaron Connolly

Showed plenty of will and got kicked around a bit by the Swiss for his troubles. Grew increasingly frustrated at the quality of service into him. The game took place away from his area of the pitch so hard to blame him for not doing much. Rating 5

James Collins

Threw himself about, mostly fouling rather than anything more productive. Had a shot on the stroke of half-time that was weak and unthreatening when others were better placed. Replaced by O’Dowda at the break. Rating 4

Subs

Callum O’Dowda Ireland needed more from him on the right, especially given Coleman’s travails behind him. Played 45 minutes but featured little. Rating 4. Scott Hogan Came on for Connolly and suffered the same frustrations. Rating 4

Mick McCarthy

Initial gambit of playing 3-5-2 was brave but ineffectual and only lasted 28 minutes. Picking Browne ahead of Hourihane didn’t pay off either. Had a swipe at peddlers of doom and gloom before the game - hard to see them as anything but logical now. Rating 4

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