Friday 30 September 2016

Substitutes Stephen Quinn 7 (for Ward, 70 mins) Made a positive impact during an important cameo Daryl Murphy 7 (for Hendrick, 75) Has worked hard across his career and deserved his big goal Ciaran Clark (for Long, 90) Not on long enough to rate

Published 06/09/2016 | 02:30

Darren Randolph

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Mixed bag from the West Ham netminder with some fine stops merged with one first-half flap and a second-half fumble that might have been costly. It was in keeping with the slightly crazy nature of the game.

Seamus Coleman

Ireland's new captain was making his first competitive appearance of the season and that perhaps explains some of the cobwebs. He made a goal-line clearance in each half, but he did get sucked into a bad position for Serbia's equaliser.

Richard Keogh

Has thrived in this type of game before and was relatively efficient as he snuffed out a series of Serbian advances before the interval. He was diligent enough throughout, with Irish problems stemming from elsewhere.

John O'Shea

Given his interrupted preparation, a reasonable showing from O'Shea, who even got forward to assist in the opener. But he was partly to blame for Serbia's equaliser as he got in a muddle in the penalty area in an attempt to cut off Tadic.

Stephen Ward

The Irish left side fared marginally better than the right side in the first half as Serbia's formation caused problems. Ward and James McClean did all right defensively. A knock was effecting him and Ward was sacrificed to allow Brady finish at left-full.

Glenn Whelan

The description of a Whelan performance can often be copied and pasted as he functioned in his normal role as a defensive shield and covered a lot of ground without being able to do much on the ball.

Jeff Hendrick

Finally ended his goalscoring drought in an Irish jersey and was busy in the first half before running out of steam somewhat. The Burnley recruit hasn't played a huge amount of football this season due to injury.

Robbie Brady

The new No 10 ended up at left-back and, while it didn't quite happen for him in general play, he was still central to the creation of both goals and finished the match strongly. Also cut off one Serbian first-half attack very well.

Jon Walters

As usual, the striker was called upon to do a fair bit of defending as Serbia's left side presented some difficulties. He was caught out by the clever Kostic for the penalty award but finished strongly.

James McClean

His positive approach helps teams to start games well and that quality played a big part in the breakthrough goal. Made mistakes across the 90 but his energy levels were higher than others and it helped in the fightback.

Shane Long

His presence made Serbian defenders uneasy and he also contributed in the build-up to both goals, with his close-range miss slipping from the memory when the subsequent corner was converted.

Martin O'Neill

He retrieved the situation with some good changes that found an equaliser so he can be pleased with subs. Team did fall deep to invite pressure but he attributed that to Serbian strength in possession. An ambitious plan will be necessary to deliver six points next month.

Irish Independent

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