Sport Soccer

Thursday 14 December 2017

Player ratings


SHAY GIVEN: The Donegal man made a strong statement by rising high to collect an early corner, removing any fears about his sore neck.Otherwise, he was in a sweeper role with the players in front of him all doing their work. 6

A handy enough evening for the Aston Villa man.STEPHEN KELLY 7

Struggled at times in the first half when Estonia's impressive Dmitri Kruglov got forward, and a number of diagonal passes were sent over his head.

But the sending off removed Kruglov's ambition and Kelly settled into the game. Can reflect with satisfaction.RICHARD DUNNE 7

It transpired before the game that the defender was a booking away from suspension because UEFA sanction players for the fifth yellow of the campaign.

However, the Aston Villa man was a calming presence, and made a decisive interception at start of the second half. SEAN ST LEDGER 7

With Estonia operating with one up front, it was a different kind of night for St Ledger who really just had to keep the shape and cope with a range of long punts in his direction.

In that regard, he coped well, with international football giving the Leicester man something to smile about.STEPHEN WARD 8

A big test for the Wolves man and he passed it with flying colours. Was put in a couple of situations where his composure was tested, and he took the right option every time.

Attempted to get forward after the interval as Ireland looked to capitalise on their numerical advantage.AIDEN MCGEADY 7

A good night for the Spartak Moscow winger, who is often criticised for flattering to deceive.

He seized the moment in the first half, advancing before finding the ideal cross for Andrews.

Also forced the first yellow from Stepanov, and was central to the second goal.GLENN WHELAN 6

Went about his business in the usual manner, with the extra man in the opposition midfield meaning he spent a long time covering space rather than individuals.

Sending off gave him more time to impose, although he did give away a soft free after the resumption that could have been costly.KEITH ANDREWS 8

Made an early block on Konstantin Vassiljev which set the tone for a good evening. Then made the killer burst into the box for the opening goal.

Then stepped up to the mark in the second half with the incisive advance for the third. Arguably his best performance since that infamous night in Paris.DAMIEN DUFF 7

The Fulham man's experience was apparent from the outset as he killed time and made correct choices when Ireland were under pressure.

Prominent in a good spell at the beginning of the second half, and used up all his energy before being withdrawn with 20 minutes left.ROBBIE KEANE 7

The beauty of Keane is his ability to deliver a crucial moment, even when he is having a quiet night.

Ireland's skipper struggled to get on the ball and yet he still walked away with two goals and a part in the build-up the other two.

Admirable composure when the chances fell his way.JONATHAN WALTERS 8

A thankless task for the Stoke man, who just had to put his body on the line for the evening. He performed admirably, with the maturity of an international veteran.

His holdup play set the wheels in motion for the opening goal, and then came the glorious header for the second. Superb.GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI 8

What more can you say? His team produced a display in keeping with his system.

They followed his orders, and he got the striking decision right with Walters a thorn in the side of a combative Estonian rearguard.

Two more years of his tenure will be the reward.Stephen Hunt 7

Came on for Duff after 72 minutes. Made the key burst to win the penalty for Keane.Keith Fahey 6

Replaced Whelan on 78 minutes. Did the needful in his short time on the pitch.Simon Cox 6

Came on for Walters with seven minutes left. Not on long enough to make much of an impression.

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