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Player ratings: Youngsters give Ireland hope after disappointment in Belgrade

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Jason Molumby was one of Ireland's best performers in the defeat to Serbia. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Jason Molumby was one of Ireland's best performers in the defeat to Serbia. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Jason Molumby was one of Ireland's best performers in the defeat to Serbia. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Here is how the Irish players rated in the 3-2 defeat to Serbia in the opening World Cup qualifier.

Mark Travers – 5

The 21-year-old was thrown into the spotlight and while he did make one fine first-half stop, a ponderous moment was punished ruthlessly by Mitrovic when it mattered.

Seamus Coleman – 8

The skipper started the game very well with bright interceptions and he looks suited to the role on the right of the back three, even if there were moments where lack of practice together was evident

Dara O'Shea – 7

A mixed bag from the West Brom player, with the pace of his passing a boost in terms of building from the back, but he also struggled to contain Mitrovic when he was introduced.

Ciaran Clark – 6

A welcome return to international football for the Newcastle player but he might be disappointed with his role in the first goal. Tadic was causing issues on his side.

Matt Doherty – 6

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Made a couple of bright advances up the right side and had a good understanding with Coleman at times, even if he found it harder to impose himself in the crucial period of the game.

Jayson Molumby – 7

A slightly surprise inclusion given his recent struggles at Preston but the call was vindicated with his energy and pressing, even if he appeared to run out of steam and was called ashore first.

Josh Cullen – 7

He's a different type of option in front of the defence in the sense that he's a natural ball player. Pass was intercepted for third Serbian goal but that's his style and he's worth sticking with.

Alan Browne – 8

The man who ended the wait for a goal and he's got a knack for popping up in the box at the opportune moment. He's now made his case for a longer-term inclusion in this position.

Enda Stevens – 6

Tried to overlap where possible yet the presence of Tadic on his flank for large periods neutralised him on occasion. He'll find it easier at wing back against different opposition.

Callum Robinson – 6

A strange one in the sense that Robinson caused a fair few problems and created the goal but also frustrated at certain moments. In his defence, this was his first game since February 2.

Aaron Connolly – 6

You can see why the Irish camp were so keen to have Connolly available because he does get into awkward positions, win frees and make things happen but his recent inactivity caught up with him

Stephen Kenny – 7

There will be no mitigation if he fails to beat Luxembourg but given the interrupted preparation, his team put in a strong showing here. Replacing Molumby early was the one questionable call.

Substitutes

Jeff Hendrick (For Molumby, 60 mins) – 5

Found it hard to make a real impression

Shane Long (For Connolly, 67 mins) – 6

Played his part in late fightback with key assist

Robbie Brady (For Clark 79 mins) – 6

Got involved in his brief cameo but it was a tough gig

James McClean (For Robinson, 79 mins) – 6

Worked hard at wing back without getting much joy

James Collins (For Browne, 79 mins) – 6

Bundled in a goal to give Ireland late hope


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