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Ireland Player Ratings As Kenny's Side Rescue Deserved Belgium Draw

Ireland Player Ratings As Kenny's Side Rescue Deserved Belgium Draw
By Gary Connaughton
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Gary Connaughton reporting from the Aviva Stadium

It was a mixed performance from Ireland against Belgium, although you certainly couldn't argue that Stephen Kenny's side didn't deserve a draw.

While they went through a couple of quiet periods over the 90 minutes, it was the Irish who looked more threatening in front of goal. With some excellent showings from a number of players, it was certainly a pleasing evening's work.

Here's how we rated the performances on the day.

Ireland vs Belgium Player Ratings

Caoimhín Kelleher - 6

Perhaps could have done slightly better on the game's opening goal, with his positioning a bit closer to the near post than it needed to be. That was the only attempt he faced in the opening period.

Kelleher had no chance on the second goal, with a deflection preventing him from making what likely would have been a routine save.



Seamus Coleman - 6

Coleman allowed Batshuayi to turn far too easily onto his stronger right foot to score the opening goal of the game. He also played a decisive role in the second, although you could not place much blame on him for the deflection that diverted Vanakan's header into the net.


Otherwise, it was a solid showing.


Shane Duffy - 7


Duffy was his usual dominant self in the air, although much of the defending on the ground was left to the centre backs on either side of him as Belgium mostly attempted to attack down the wing.

A good performance.



John Egan - 8

Defended brilliantly at the back, also stepping out into midfield with the ball on occasion. It was not uncommon to see him advance as far as the Belgian box.

Egan is certainly key to the way Ireland play, making everything tick in the defensive third.



Matt Doherty - 6

Had very little attacking input in the opening half, while much of Belgium's good play early came down that right channel.


Doherty seemed to get a lease of life after the interval, breaking forward far more frequently and looking to get in behind the visiting defence.


James McClean - 6

McClean's delivery from the left flank left a lot to be desired at times, failing to trouble the Belgians with his crosses into the box. He defended well at the back, although most of the opposition attacks did come down the other wing.

In fairness, he worked hard all game and tried to pick the team up during some low spells over his 80 minutes on the pitch.


Josh Cullen - 6

Cullen was excellent in possession, playing some wonderful passes in the middle third to advance Ireland up the pitch. The midfielder pressed well at times, although he didn't quite make as many defensive contributions as we have become accustomed to seeing.



Jeff Hendrick - 7

Hendrick had a very quiet opening half, not really displaying the type of incisive passes that were so prominent in his strong performances towards the end of last year.

Things picked up a bit after the break, with his delightful through ball to Jason Knight one of the best passes you will see all year. Replaced with 15 minutes to go.


Jason Knight - 6

Knight certainly brought his trademark energy to the side, although little came off for him in the opening half. He improved as the game went on, showing a willingness to get in behind the Belgian defence.

He was unfortunate that the ball did not bounce his way on a couple of occasions, being replaced by Will Keane with 15 minutes to go.


Chiedozie Ogbene - 9

Failed to have much impact in the opening exchanges, although it's fair to say that service was lacking. However, he burst into life just after the half hour mark with brilliantly taken goal.

His pace is a real burden for the opposition, although it must be said that Belgium did not leave much space for him to exploit in behind. Ogbene's cross for the Alan Browne goal was superb, with his pace to win what looked like a hopeless ball summing up what he is all about.

With three goals in six international caps, and possessing qualities that nobody else in the Ireland squad has, he is quickly becoming the most important attacker in the team.


Callum Robinson - 6

Struggled early on in the game, cheaply giving away possession on a few occasions. He had a golden opportunity to give Ireland the lead just after the interval only to have his clever flick cleared off the line.

His touch improved in the second half, although he never really looked like a threat on goal.



Alan Browne - 7

Took his header brilliantly to rescue a draw for Stephen Kenny's side.


Will Keane - 7

Keane brought a lot of energy and looked quite dangerous up front after coming on.


Ryan Manning - 6

Had very little defending to do after his introduction.


Troy Parrott - N/A

Not on long enough to rate.

SEE ALSO: Roberto Martinez Is A Big Fan Of What Stephen Kenny Is Trying To Do With Ireland

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