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Player ratings as Ireland play out goalless draw with Bulgaria

ireland bulgaria

Ireland 0-0 Bulgaria.

The Republic of Ireland ended their Uefa Nations League campaign with a goalless draw against Bulgaria in Dublin.

The result means Ireland will not be relegated from the group, but the search for their first goal since September goes on. The Boys in Green have now gone over 11 hours without a goal. Here’s how we rated the Ireland players.

Darren Randolph – 6

The West Ham United goalkeeper earned his 50th cap for Ireland on Wednesday night and was on hand to make several saves.

Dara O’Shea – 5

O’Shea started at right-back, where he has played for West Brom, and he was defensively sound while also getting forward when he could. The Dubliner delivered one particularly dangerous ball into the box for his teammates to attack.

Shane Duffy – 5

The Ireland captain has struggled for form at club level with Celtic, and he had one or two shaky performances at international level so far this season. Duffy was defensively solid against Wales but he started the game against Bulgaria looking uncomfortable with a few loose passes and heavy touches. Duffy improved after the break, but he didn’t look comfortable for most of the night.

Kevin Long – 6

Long was often on hand to tidy up errors from Duffy, particularly in the first half. A solid performance.

Ryan Manning – 5

The Galway-native made his debut for Ireland at left-back. A quiet game for the Swansea full-back, who didn’t get the chance to show his attacking qualities.

Conor Hourihane – 5

Hourihane was cautious and safe in possession, rarely playing a penetrative pass. No impact on the match.

Jason Knight – 6

The Derby County midfielder was aggressive and proactive, snapping into tackles and making his presence felt in midfield. He also showed his quality on the ball in the second half, creating a clear cut chance for Ronan Curtis after dribbling from midfield.

Robbie Brady – 5

Brady was probably Ireland’s best player against Wales, but he was loose in possession against Bulgaria and often overhit his passes. The Burnley midfielder did, however, hit the bar with a powerful shot in the second half.

Ronan Curtis – 5

Like Horgan on the other wing, Curtis was bright in the first half. The Portsmouth winger, however, missed Ireland’s best chance, rushing his shot when clean through on goal.

Daryl Horgan – 6

Ireland’s best player in the first-half, Horgan had some promising moments and looked to attack the Bulgaria players at every opportunity. He created the team’s best chance of the opening period, finding space in the penalty area and floating a cross into the six-yard box for Collins.

James Collins – 5

The burly Luton Town centre-forward was eager and willing, chasing down lost causes and disrupting the Bulgaria defence. Collins was often isolated, and something of a blunt instrument, but he came close to hitting the target once or twice.


Josh Cullen – 6

Tidy in possession.

Jack Byrne – 6

The Shamrock Rovers midfielder should have had longer on the pitch, but he showed his class with a dangerous cross for Maguire.

Sean Maguire, Troy Parrott and Cyrus Christie РN/A

Not on the pitch long enough, or involved enough to be rated.

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