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Player ratings as Ireland lose to Slovakia on penalties in Euros playoff

ireland player ratings

Slovakia 0-0 Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland will not play in the European Championships next summer. Here is how we rated the Ireland players after a penalty shootout defeat to Slovakia in Bratislava.

ireland player ratings

Slovakia v Ireland player ratings

Darren Randolph – 7

Randolph came into the Ireland team on this day five years ago, when he replaced the injured Shay Given in a crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Germany.

The Bray-native kept a clean sheet, set up Shane Long’s famous goal and has been arguably Ireland’s most dependable player ever since.

He showed his importance to the team just before half-time, making a smart one-handed save down low to keep the score goalless.

Matt Doherty – 5.5

The Tottenham full-back may not have started if Seamus Coleman was fit, after the Ireland captain’s excellent recent form.

Doherty, however, was better on Thursday after some shaky displays for Ireland last month.

He was neat in possession and played some nice passes around the corner in the first half. Doherty, however, faded after the first half.

Shane Duffy – 8

Last month, Duffy looked the most uncertain of all Ireland’s players trying to adjust to playing with a high defensive line.

The Derry-native, however, has since played seven games on loan with Celtic, and he looked much sharper against Slovakia.

He was strong defensively, a disruptive presence from set-pieces and he made a vital block on the line to prevent a certain goal for the opposition.

John Egan – 8

Egan was earning just his 11th cap for Ireland, but he already looks to be a key player for Kenny.

Unlike Duffy beside him, Egan is much more comfortable taking the ball from the back and moving into midfield.

The 27-year-old was defensively sound on Thursday night, making several timely interceptions and tackles, and was imperious in the air.

Enda Stevens – 6

The Sheffield United wing-back, earning his 17th cap for Ireland, put in another solid performance.

Stevens was solid defensively and showed his attacking prowess with a lovely pass for Browne, only for the midfielder to fluff his lines.

James McCarthy – 6

McCarthy has started the season well for Crystal Palace. And while his performances for Ireland have divided opinion, he is the team’s best option to play the base of midfield.

The midfielder was busy in the first half and kept things ticking over, rarely losing the ball. He was withdrawn at the hour mark after unfortunately picking up an injury.

Jeff Hendrick – 5.5

Hendrick started brightly and pushed forward, playing as Ireland’s most advanced midfielder. The Newcastle United midfielder was neat and patient in possession as he drifted around, offering an outlet for his teammates. Hendrick also read the game well, making several interceptions.

Ireland lacked an incisive passer in the final third, however, and Hendrick was something of a blunt object as Ireland chased a goal. He faded as the game went on.

Conor Hourihane – 5.5

Hourihane played some nice switches of play and set up McClean for Ireland’s best chance of the first half. With time and space, he could pick a pass and hit one or two effective passes through the lines.

He lacked bite in midfield, however, and missed Ireland’s best chance to win the game, hitting a tame shot from a few yards out with his weaker right foot.

Callum Robinson – 6

Robinson has been in impressive form for West Brom in the Premier League, scoring twice in four games for the Baggies so far this year. He also looked bright when he came off the bench last month against Finland for Ireland.

Robinson linked well with McGoldrick and looked threatening when he drifted inside. He was moved to the right after McClean was substituted and helped set up Ireland’s best chance of the game for Hourihane.

James McClean – 5.5

The Stoke City winger came into the team to replace Aaron Connolly, who wasn’t in the squad. Kenny said before the game that it was a ‘recent change to the team’, suggesting that Connolly was his first choice to start on the wing.

McClean, however, offered defensive cover against the experienced Slovak full-back Peter Pekarik. He was loose in possession, losing the ball on several occasions.

But he worked hard to win it back and also made a vital last-ditch tackle early in the game to stop a Slovakia counter-attack.

David McGoldrick – 7.5

The Sheffield United centre-forward returned to the Ireland team after missing last month’s games due to injury. McGoldrick, who scored for the Blades against Arsenal last week, was an upgrade on the promising, if quite green, Adam Idah.

McGoldrick dropped deep, linked play, and created space for Robinson to run into. He linked well with the West Brom forward and held the ball up well to help his teammates get up the pitch.

McGoldrick’s selfless and intelligent play helped knit Kenny’s team together. He showed his class with a wonderful weaving run late on.

Substitutes

Robbie Brady – 5.5

The Burnley midfielder showed some nice touches and added some guile to Ireland’s attacks. Brady helped set up a chance for Browne in extra-time.

Alan Browne – 5

The Preston midfielder missed several great chances after coming on. First, he chose to shoot at the goalkeeper’s near-post rather than across him. In extra-time, he hit the post with a flick.

Browne was a lively presence though and looked to get in the box at every chance.

Callum O’Dowda – 5.5

The winger came on for the final 20 minutes of extra-time and made an impact with his pace. O’Dowda set up Browne’s late chance.

Shane Long – N/A.

Not on long enough to rate.

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