Switzerland 2 Ireland 0.
Here is how we rated the Ireland players:
Darren Randolph – 8
The Middlesbrough goalkeeper made a good save early in the game, parrying a tricky Granit Xhaka shot from distance. The muddy pitch made his task more complicated and he could do very little about Haris Seferovic’s goal. He made a vital save just after half-time and was, again, a calm presence in the team. His penalty save late in the game was brilliant.
Seamus Coleman – 3
Starting at right wing-back, before moving to his natural position at right-back, Coleman had a tough evening in both positions during the game, when he was caught in possession a couple of times. Breel Embolo got the better of him all night and it was tough to watch at times. Sent-off for a handball late in the game.
John Egan – 6
Another solid performance from a very dependable defender. He and Duffy worked well together at the back and were a threat from set-pieces.
Shane Duffy – 6
A threat from set-pieces and solid defensively. Could do little about to prevent the Swiss from doubling their lead.
Enda Stevens – 6
Stevens returned to the team after being suspended for the Georgia game and was pretty good at left-back – and for a brief spell as the left-sided central defender – on the defensive side of the game. No other Ireland player had more successful tackles (6) or more interceptions (3). However, he lost the ball 18 times, more than any other Irish player. He was hampered playing behind McClean, who rarely created space for Stevens to overlap.
James McClean – 4
The Stoke City winger started at left wing-back and was arguably fortunate to stay in the team after a very poor performance against Georgia on Saturday. McClean continued his form against the Swiss, conceding a needless free-kick near the Ireland penalty area. He then needlessly kicked the ball out of play. The Swiss went on to score from distance through Seferovic. It was an excellent finish, and a lot had to happen before he shot, but the chance never would have come about if McClean didn’t, again, lose the ball. He switched to the right-wing when Ireland moved to a 4-3-3 formation but did not improve greatly.
Glenn Whelan – 7
Whelan was outjumped in the build-up to the opening goal but was otherwise the best of Ireland’s midfield. He worked hard, never hid from collecting the ball and was at the centre of Ireland’s best spell of play in the game just after half-time. He put his body on the line several times and was the only midfielder not to go hiding when things got tough.
Alan Browne – 4
A talented player, but he had no impact on the match.
Jeff Hendrick – 4
Another disappearing act from the Dubliner. It’s a shame because Hendrick has the tools to be a very good midfielder.
James Collins – 4
He worked hard but had no impact, or service, for the 45-minutes he was on the pitch.
Aaron Connolly – 5
The forward was completely starved of service.
Callum O’Dowda – 5
Started brightly and was an obvious improvement on Ireland’s previous options wide. Should be in contention to play against Denmark.
Came on for Connolly, but had no impact.
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