Tuesday 20 March 2018



Worth remembering what a baptism of fire this has been but he can be proud of contribution to double header and made one excellent second-half save.


There were a few moments where it looked like the Everton man was lacking his usual speed after an interrupted preparation but a couple of top class interceptions demonstrated his class.


A reminder that left-back is not his preferred position as Poland tried to double up on him and he endured a torrid first half. Improved going forward after the interval but caught out again in final throes.

John O'Shea

Excellent across the campaign but won't recall this occasion fondly as he was dragged out of shape a number of times by Polish invention. Perhaps the quick turnaround didn't help the oldest starter.

richard keogh

Deserved to retain his place but without the same quality of protection, he was exposed to bother and Lewandowski was too clever for his goal. Fluffed lines when presented with chance to become a hero.

Glenn Whelan

No surprise that he was recalled and made excellent block from Lewandowski but significant that he was deemed surplus to requirements in hunt for equaliser. But did O'Neill make a tactical mistake by restoring him.

James McCarthy

Brief contrasted from Thursday as Whelan was cast as the permanent shield. Worked hard but it was apparent he was comfortable when O'Neill changed it for the final half an hour. Serious food for thought ahead of play-off.

Jeff Hendrick

He was asked to get forward throughout and didn't appear comfortable with back to goal. Some uncertain touches were seized upon but he never shirked his responsibilities. Couldn't find magic of previous outings.

James McClean

Spirited as usual but he was poor in the first 45, making errors in attempts to cover Brady which didn't help the situation. Lifted his levels after the resumption but didn't get much change from Lukasz Piszczek.

Jonathan Walters

Classy conversion of the penalty bred hope and he put in the usual shift that helped make the right side a safer place. Put up top for the final minutes and managed to rough up the defence but they blocked his path to goal.

Shane long

Injury ended his evening and he will be sore all over after a bruising encounter where he took punishment from the Polish back four and, penalty aside, wasn't given much protection by the ref.

martin o'neill

He's lifted Ireland to a play-off and Hoolahan fitness concerns complicated task but restoring Whelan didn't work with fluency from Thursday missing. Subs raised a few eyebrows although McGeady did create a great chance


ROBBIE KEANE for LONG 55 minutes

He was tidy on the ball but a frustrating night around box


Made chance for Keogh that would have earned hero status

WES HOOLAHAN for McClean 72 mins

Ireland better after his introduction

Irish Independent

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