Wales 0 Ireland 1: Ireland player ratings

Malachy Clerkin scores Martin O’Neill’s men after they secure playoff with win in Cardiff

Shane Duffy challenges Wales’ Ashley Williams during Ireland’s 1-0 win in Cardiff. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Shane Duffy challenges Wales’ Ashley Williams during Ireland’s 1-0 win in Cardiff. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

 

23 Darren Randolph

Terrific display. Acrobatic save from Robson-Kanu shortly after half-time kept Ireland alive. Tipped a Ramsey effort over from distance in the first half too. Rating: 7

2 Cyrus Christie

Positioning was suspect early on, leaving too much space in the middle and drawing the Irish midfield too deep. But once he sorted that, Wales were no threat down his wing. Rating: 6

3 Ciaran Clark

Pretty solid night. Fluffed a few clearances, not that he was alone in that in either defence. Lovely feet on the edge of the Welsh box to set Duffy up for a shot in the first half. Rating 7

20 Shane Duffy

Superb performance. The game suited him and he suited the game. Forceful as ever in organising the Irish defence and got forward as an aerial threat himself. Rating: 8

17 Stephen Ward

Lost Chester for a headed chance from a corner that hit the side netting. Scrambled a few clearances, made a few tackles. No attacking threat but it wasn’t that kind of game. Rating: 6

13 Jeff Hendrick

His work for McClean’s goal was his best since the Euros - but what a time to step up. The pressing, the tackle, the run, the cross. All glorious. Ran all night otherwise. Rating 7

18 David Meyler

Textbook defensive midfield display. Covered for Christie when the right back went forward, stuck to Ramsey after some early scares, tackled like a demon. Rating: 7

10 Robbie Brady

Needed more from him. Took until just short of half-time to get into the game, collecting a flick from Murphy and jinking inside to get a shot away. Didn’t get on the ball enough. Rating: 5

Daryl Murphy and James Chester jump for the ball during Ireland’s 1-0 win over Wales. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Daryl Murphy and James Chester jump for the ball during Ireland’s 1-0 win over Wales. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

11 James McClean

Far from his best game for Ireland but yet again in this campaign, he was vital when it mattered. Perfect technique on his wrong foot to catch Hendrick’s cross exactly as sweet as he needed to. Rating: 6

22 Harry Arter

Over-run in the early exchanges but came into it gradually. And for the goal, you can’t ask much more than a stepover from the gods at just the right moment. Rating: 6

8 Daryl Murphy

Thoroughly thankless night but he did his bit. Ran, hunted and fought for every ball. One flick for Brady was the sum total of his attacking contribution but gave everything all the same. Rating: 6

Substitutes

Glenn Whelan did all he had to when he came as a steadying presence for the last 20 minutes. Kevin Long wasn’t on long enough to get a touch. Rating: 6

Manager

Ireland were seeded fourth and finished second so all other questions fall away. Planned to survive the first part of the game and win the second. Guts, aggression, composure got his team there. Rating: 7

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