Ireland player ratings: Ogbene, Molumby and Egan shine brightest in narrow defeat to France

Aurélien Tchouameni of France in action against John Egan ofIreland during the Euro 2024 qualifier at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Seán O'Connor

Ireland’s opening Euro 2024 qualifier ended in defeat to the World Cup runners-up despite a fine performance at a sold-out Aviva Stadium.

Here is how the Boys in Green fared in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier.

Gavin Bazunu - 6

Closed down space well to deny an early chance. Forced into no first-half saves and could do nothing for France’s opener. Two good saves from Diaby and Rabiot to deny a second.

Nathan Collins – 6

A couple of fine tackles in an accomplished display on his 11th successive start. Helped Coleman keep Mbappe at bay. Was denied a famous leveller from Maignan’s world-class save.

John Egan - 7

Returned to the centre of defence and prevented Giroud from a sight on goal. Ireland’s positioning was crucial and he marshalled the defence well. A fine display.

Dara O’Shea - 6

Some crucial headers relieved pressure and looked comfortable in defence. Made a goal-saving tackle from Kolo Muani in second half. Looks like a key cog for years to come.

Séamus Coleman - 8

Overcame thigh strain to start. The 34-year-old kept up well with Mbappé at right wing-back on his 68th cap before switching to the back-three late on.

Jayson Molumby - 7

Fine clearance to deny Kolo Muani’s early cross and made a big tackle on 20 minutes on Hernandez to hype up the crowd. A superb energetic shift in right-midfield.

Josh Cullen - 6

Kenny’s midfield lynchpin had a fine first half, but his loose pass allowed Pavard intercept Knight and open the scoring. He’ll still play a vital role in this campaign.

Jason Knight – 6

First start since September in a more advanced role. Committed shift on the left but switched off for Pavard’s strike. Will be a key player for years to come.

Matt Doherty - 6

Deployed at left wing-back for the first time since September 2021. Kept Kolo Muani quiet for the most part and made a few good forays forward before McClean replaced him.

Chiedozie Ogbene - 8

Dispossessed Mbappé in the first minute to set the tone. Acted as the out-ball and proved a constant threat. Switched to right-wing back late on and deservedly won Man of the Match.

Evan Ferguson - 5

First competitive start. Hold-up play against Upamecano was good but had a quiet first half. Looked through on goal on 58 minutes but Ogbene failed to pass before being replaced by Idah.

Substitutes - 7

Adam Idah was introduced on 65 minutes for his first appearance in 16 months but failed to find a leveller. James McClean, Mikey Johnston and Alan Browne came on wand added a real spark, but it wasn’t to be. Michael Obafemi made a late cameo.

Manager – 7

Stephen Kenny went with his strongest eleven after losing O’Dowda to injury. Will be pleased with Ireland’s overall display against world-class opposition, but Ireland’s Achilles heel of conceding goals from distance continues.