Monday 26 September 2016

Heroes all round: Here is how Ireland rated in today's brave defeat to France

John Brennan in Lyon

Published 26/06/2016 | 16:13

Ireland's Stephen Quinn, Robbie Keane, Seamus Coleman, Shay Given and Shane Long react after the game
Ireland's Stephen Quinn, Robbie Keane, Seamus Coleman, Shay Given and Shane Long react after the game

It's a heroic, brave exit from Euro 2016 for Martin O'Neill's Ireland following a bitterly disappointing defeat against France. Here is how the players rated.

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Darren Randolph - Saved plenty of long range shots and almost got to Griezmann's header for the first French goal. Now established as Ireland's Number One and might get a summer transfer out of his efforts. 8

Seamus Coleman- The Killybegs man will captain Ireland for the medium term. Coleman grew into the tournament, but never quite got the opportunities to get forward. 8

Shane Duffy - A building block for the future for Irish football. His inexperience showed once or twice in Lyon, but he worked hard and was caught by Griezmann's pace for his sending off. 8

Richard Keogh - The other centre-half had a good match considering the pressure Ireland were under for most of the game. Keogh is improving all the time as an international footballer. 8

Stephen Ward - France targeted him in the second half, bringing on the pacey Kingsley Coman to run at the Burnley player. He was caught once or twice as the game opened up. 6

Jeff Hendrick - Immense, without question Ireland's best player over the four matches. He went up against £50million-rated French midfielders and beat them well. Surely he won't be a Derby player by August? 9

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Robbie Brady - Cool as ice over the penalty, but not as effective overall as in previous games. Robbie's legs went in the second half, which was understandable given the work he had put in during the four matches. 7

James McCarthy - Another good shift by the Everton man and you have to wonder if more could not have been got out of McCarthy but for that injury pre-tournament. Was he ever actually fully fit? 6

James McClean - Good going forward, but he gave the ball away cheaply three times and that is criminal in international football. Also messed up one great chance for Ireland to equalise. 6

Shane Long - The Southampton striker was nothing less than superb against France. He worked so hard, and was always sniffing danger against a poor home central defence. 9

Daryl Murphy - He had a better game than against Italy and worked really hard, his presence bringing the best out of Long. Won a few headers and second balls, but he never threatened to score. 6

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