Sunday 18 March 2018

Ireland player ratings

Press Association

Shay Given: Will have been disappointed to be beaten by Mario Mandzukic's early header and unfortunate to see his second go in, but was too often exposed by his defence. 5

John O'Shea: Found the going tough as full-back Ivan Strinic doubled up with midfielder Ivan Perisic down the Irish right. 5

Sean St Ledger: Dragged Ireland back into the game with a well-taken equaliser, but was fully-occupied at the back. 6

Richard Dunne: Mandzukic and Nikica Jelavic never allowed him to turn in the kind of defensive masterclass which proved so important in qualification. 5

Stephen Ward: Could not prevent the cross for the first goal and his error led to the second on a difficult night. 5

Damien Duff: Threatened fleetingly to get himself into the game, but was starved of meaningful possession for much of it. 6

Glenn Whelan: Worked hard in the middle in an effort to break up play, but it was a losing battle. 6

Keith Andrews: Struggled to stem the tide in the middle, but got forward regularly to support the men ahead of him and might have reduced the deficit late on. 7

Aiden McGeady (off 53 minutes): Delivered the free-kick for St Ledger's goal and tried to give Ireland an outlet down the left, but spent much of his time having to defend. 6

Robbie Keane (off 74 minutes): Saw too little of the ball to make a real impression, but might have been awarded a second-half penalty. 6

Kevin Doyle (off 53 minutes): Battled manfully up front to make life difficult for Vedran Corluka, and won the free-kick which led to St Ledger's equaliser. 7

Jon Walters (on 53): Put himself about as ever, but the game was lost by the time he came on. 6

Simon Cox (on 53): Busy after replacing McGeady on the left, but also found himself having to defend more than attack. 6

Shane Long (on 74): Had little time to make his presence felt as the clocked ticked down. 6

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