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Ireland Player Ratings As Kenny's Men Leave It Late Against Armenia

Ireland Player Ratings As Kenny's Men Leave It Late Against Armenia
By Gary Connaughton
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Gary Connaughton reporting from the Aviva Stadium

For 70 minutes, it was all so promising. Ireland had dominated the game against Armenia, scoring a couple of excellent goals and looking likely to grab one or two more.

By the end, there were groans around the Aviva as the team attempted to hold onto their 'League B' status in the UEFA Nations League.

Luckily a late penalty would get them the victory, but Stephen Kenny should be concerned with the way the final 20 minutes played out.

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

Ireland vs Armenia player ratings

Gavin Bazunu - 6

Gavin Bazunu may as well have been sitting in the stands for the first 45 minutes, with the only contribution needed from him being to gather one or two wayward long balls into the penalty area.

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The goalkeeper produced a brilliant save in the buildup to the Armenian goal, although there wasn't much he could have done about the excellent followup effort. However, he certainly should have done better for the equaliser.

 

Nathan Collins - 7

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Played incredibly high right from the first whistle, almost acting as an extra midfielder at times. Collins was completely untested defensively in the opening half.

It was another decent display from Collins, although not quite up to the standard he has set up to this point.

 

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John Egan - 7

Had a glancing header that went just early on, but he more than made up for it a few minutes later when his effort from a Robbie Brady corner bounced into the roof of the net to give Ireland the lead.

Egan did not have a whole lot to do defensively, with both Armenian goals coming from long range.

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Dara O'Shea - 6

O'Shea had little to do defensively in the opening half, although he was impressively aggressive on the occasions that he did have to step out of the back to press an opponent.

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He perhaps could have done a bit better to close down the shot for the first Armenian goal and did look a bit nervy as they applied the pressure towards the end.

 

Matt Doherty - 7

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Doherty looked incredibly lively right from the off, looking like a dangerous option down the right flank. He showed some lovely touches in and around the box in the first 45 minutes.

The Dubliner was probably the most composed Ireland player in possession throughout the 90 minutes.

 

Robbie Brady - 8

Making his first start for Ireland in over 18 months, it took Brady a few minutes to grow into the game. He provided the assist from Egan's opener via the corner and put in a few more dangerous set-pieces deliveries over the course of the first half.

The Preston man was very lively down the left, showing on the overlap and putting in some excellent crosses. It was great to see him get the goal to win it at the end after a tough period in his career.

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Jayson Molumby - 7

Operating in a slightly deeper role in the absence of the suspended Josh Cullen, Molumby picked off right where he left off in Scotland with a fantastic display. He also got to show his abilities on the ball, keeping possession moving nicely whenever he got on it.

In, saying that he was a bit rash in the challenge at times and was perhaps fortunate not to be sent off for a second booking right at the start of the second half. Unsurprisingly, he was substituted soon after.

 

Jason Knight - 7

Knight was well advanced up the pitch in the opening 45 minutes, showing a real willingness to both get in behind and come to feet in search of possession.

He was excellent throughout, causing real issues for Armenia when they attempted to play it out from the back. A decent showing.

 

Jeff Hendrick - 5

Held onto the ball for too long in dangerous positions on a couple of occasions early on. While Hendrick did show a willingness to go for the killer pass, it unfortunately did not come off for him in the first half.

The Reading man got into excellent positions all night, but he continue to struggle to find the final pass. Overall, he was disappointing.

 

Troy Parrott - 5

Troy Parrott showed some beautiful movement around the box in the opening exchanges, although he was often let down when it came to delivering the pass.

It was a quiet evening for the striker, who would have wanted to make up for his miss in Glasgow.

 

Michael Obafemi - 8

Had a great opportunity early on but his header drifted just wide. Obafemi was not quite as lively in the first half as we had seen in Scotland, although he would burst into life at that start of the second half.

His goal was absolutely extraordinary, producing a gorgeous couple of touches to beat the defender before burying it into the bottom corner. The striker upped his performance levels from that point on, turning provider on a couple of occasions to play in his teammates.

He has to start every game going forward.

 

Substitues 

Conor Hourihane - 5

Coming on for Molumby after 50 minutes, Hourihane initially did okay after his introduction and was tidy on the ball.

However, the way he lost possession in the buildup to the Armenia equaliser was absolutely criminal, especially after conceding only moments prior. His lack of physicality in the middle third seems to be an issue whenever he plays for Ireland.

 

Alan Browne, Callum Robinson, & Scott Hogan - N/A

Not on long enough to rate.

SEE ALSO: Angry Fan's At Home Analysis Of Harry Maguire's Defending Goes Viral

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