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Ireland player ratings as Stephen Kenny’s team play out draw with Qatar

Qatar 1-1 Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland’s wait for their first win under Stephen Kenny goes on. Ireland played out a 1-1 draw in a friendly with Qatar on Tuesday night in Hungary. Kenny’s record now reads five draws and six defeats since taking charge of the national team.

Ireland played well in the first half, when James McClean finished off a well-worked goal to give the away side the lead. Qatar, however, struck back just after half-time and equalised through Mohammed Muntari.

Here is how we rated the Ireland players.

Ireland player ratings.

Gavin Bazunu – 6

The Manchester City goalkeeper, currently on loan with Rochdale Town in League One, deservedly retained his place after a promising performance against Luxembourg. Bazunu, 19, was the only positive aspect of Ireland’s defeat on Saturday night and he had some encouraging moments against Qatar. Bazunu made some saves, he was calm in possession and commanding in the area, coming off his line on a couple of occasions to claim loose balls.

Seamus Coleman – 6

Coleman had some choice words for his teammates after Saturday’s loss to Luxembourg, calling the performance “embarrassing” and suggesting that some Ireland players were hiding. Coleman, however, speaks with authority and is Ireland’s most consistent player. He was solid again against Qatar, and backed up his words with another captain’s performance.

Shane Duffy – 5

The Brighton defender, currently enduring a nightmare season on loan with Celtic, returned to the starting line-up for his 42nd cap. He was more solid than in recent matches. Duffy, however, was caught out for the equaliser when he rushed forward to cut out a pass to Mohammed Muntari but left Muntari free to shoot and score from the edge of the penalty area. Duffy needs to recover his confidence at club level before coming back into contention for a starting spot with Ireland.

Dara O’Shea – 7

O’Shea started all three of Ireland’s games in this international break and appears to have cemented his place in Kenny’s first-choice starting XI. A solid display from a promising player. He was arguably Ireland’s best defender against Qatar.

Cyrus Christie – 5

Christie, currently on loan at Nottingham Forest from Fulham, came into the team to replace Matt Doherty at right wing-back and won his 28th cap for Ireland. The full-back worked hard and pressed high whenever he could, he also linked up well once or twice with Parrott.

But Christie was loose in possession and mostly made poor decisions when he reached the final third. At one point in the first half, he opted for a wild, speculative shot on his weaker foot when there were teammates in better positions. A few minutes later, he didn’t get his head up to see Parrott outside him in space, hitting an aimless cross instead that didn’t find an Irish player.

James McClean – 7

McClean, who was playing as a wing-back, opened the scoring for Ireland, finishing off a brilliantly-worked corner with a low finish. The Stoke City winger worked extremely hard defensively and helped his team when out of possession.

Republic of Ireland

Jayson Molumby – 5

Molumby started Ireland’s 3-2 loss to Serbia and came on for the final minutes against Luxembourg. The midfielder, 21, was Kenny’s captain at Under-21 level and is one of a handful of young players Ireland fans hope can develop into key members of the team. Against Qatar, he had a mixed performance.

Molumby was Ireland’s deepest midfielder and was on hand to prevent a couple of Qatari counter-attacks. He was calm in possession and disciplined, holding his position while some others wandered around. Molumby snapped into challenges tried to get the team going again after conceding an equaliser. He did, however, lose the ball on occasion.

Jeff Hendrick – 4

Hendrick returned to the team to win his 62nd cap, but the Newcastle United midfielder had little positive impact on proceedings and was often unambitious in possession. His best moment came when he blocked two Qatari players to create space for McClean to shoot and score the opening goal.

At the start of the second half, however, Hendrick lost the ball in the build-up to Qatar’s equaliser and made a tame attempt to get back into position. There was an enormous gap in the middle of the pitch where Hendrick should have been and Ireland were left scrambling to stop Qatar’s counter-attack.

Robbie Brady – N/A.

Brady was one of Ireland’s better players against Luxembourg on Saturday night, when he came on as a second-half substitute, delivering some dangerous balls into the box for his teammates to attack. The Burnley midfielder, however, was unfortunately forced off injured after just 20 minutes.

Daryl Horgan – 6

The Wycombe Wanderers winger played a key role in Ireland’s first goal, taking the corner and teeing up McClean to score. Horgan was bright and busy, dropping deep between the lines and drifting wide to try link play. He brought energy and purpose to Ireland’s frontline, starting Ireland’s press and taking the ball in tight spaces. Horgan played the best football of his career under Kenny at Dundalk and looks confident playing under the Ireland coach.

Shane Long – 5

Long worked hard and helped lead Ireland’s press. He was also an option to run beyond the Qatar defence when Ireland wanted to go direct and bypass midfield. The striker, however, fluffed a chance in front of goal and never looked like scoring.

Substitutes

Troy Parrott – 5

Parrott came on for the injured Brady after 20 minutes and had some nice touches, he also pressed well and looked to link-up with Christie. Like the rest of the Ireland team, he faded from the game in the second half.

Jason Knight – 6

An improved performance from Saturday, Knight brought energy and bite to the midfield.

Callum Robinson – 5

He came as a second-half substitute, but Robinson had little impact on the match.

Ryan Manning, Josh Cullen and Alan Browne – N/A.

The trio were brought on for the final five minutes, but were not on the pitch for long enough to rate.

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