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Ireland Player Ratings As Robinson Hands Kenny His First Competitive Win In Baku

Ireland Player Ratings As Robinson Hands Kenny His First Competitive Win In Baku

At the 13th attempt, Stephen Kenny finally has his first competitive win as Ireland manager.

It was an excellent performance from the team in Azerbaijan, who improved as the game went on. Callum Robinson was the man of the moment, but there were plenty of strong performances throughout the side in the 3-0 victory.

Finally, we have something to build on.

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

Ireland Player Ratings

Gavin Bazunu - 8

The goalkeeper was only asked to make a couple of routine saves in the opening half, although his distribution was excellent throughout.

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He made an excellent save from distance to stop Azerbaijan from getting back into the game in the second half. He repeated the trick a few minutes later, palming a strong shot onto the crossbar. He looks like he has been in this team for years.

 

Andrew Omobamidele - 7

Omobamidele was asked very few questions defensively, although he did look very solid when called upon. He made some excellent clearances and looked confident on the ball when given the chance to step out of the defence.

Another good performance for the 19-year old to build on.

 

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Shane Duffy - 8

Was sturdy as ever at the back, putting in some big challenges when Azerbaijan advanced up the pitch.

He could have had a couple in the net at the other end. His first header was glanced wide, while his second late on forced a brilliant save from the Azerbaijan goalkeeper. Very much a man in form at the moment.

 

John Egan - 8

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Defended well when required in the first half, most notably in halting a dangerous looking Azerbaijan counterattack just after the half hour mark.

Egan was not afraid to take a risk in defending aggressively, stepping out to close down the space for the opposition. He showed a bit of needle at the end of the game in ensuring Ireland saw the game out, something that was no harm to see as Ireland have often lacked that in recent times.

 

Matt Doherty - 6

Doherty got on plenty of ball early on, although that did not continue throughout. The Spurs man was not as involved in Ireland's attacking play as we have become accustomed to seeing.

There was a nervy moment in the second half when his potential handball was checked by VAR, although the referee made the correct decision in not awarding the penalty. Defended well throughout.

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James McClean - 7

A surprise selection ahead of Enda Stevens, McClean did brilliantly to set up Ireland's first goal. Drifting in from the left, he was the one that provided Callum Robinson with the opportunity to open the scoring with an excellent run and pass.

He could well have had another assist in the second, but he opted to shoot instead of squaring it to Adam Idah after a brilliant run. The Wigan player also looked much more solid in defence than he did in last month's fixtures.

 

Josh Cullen - 7

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With Hendrick pushing higher up the pitch, Cullen was asked to cover a lot of ground in the middle third when Ireland were out of possession. He did so admirably, even when outnumbered in midfield.

The Anderlecht man moved the ball at speed when he got it, picking out some lovely passes to launch Irish attacks.

 

Jeff Hendrick - 6

Not afraid to push up high and pressure the Azerbaijan midfield early on, that did seem to drop off as the game advanced. The Newcastle man showed some nice touches at times, although his final ball did let him down on occasion.

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You would have liked to see a bit more on the ball from Hendrick as Ireland saw the game out, but he worked hard throughout.

 

Daryl Horgan - 4

Horgan looked to inject some life into Ireland's attack, although little came off for him in the first half. He continually gave away possession, often in promising areas of the pitch.

It was a very poor performance from the Galway man and it was no surprise to see him replaced by Jamie McGrath at halftime.

 

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Adam Idah - 6

Worked hard, but the service was often lacking in the first 45 minutes. His holdup play wasn't quite there and he often failed to find a teammate with his passes.

He improved greatly in the second half, however, especially as Azerbaijan offered more space. Replaced on the hour mark, likely due to his issues with illness earlier in the week.

 

Callum Robinson - 9

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On the back of a long week, his early goal was an absolutely stunning finish. Robinson did brilliantly to control the ball with one touch, unleashing a fantastic strike into the top corner from just outside the box.

He was a nightmare for the opposition defence to deal with, coming close to doubling his tally with a volley in the 31st minute. He managed it a few minutes later when his long range effort managed to squeeze by the Azerbaijani goalkeeper.

He really should have had a hat-trick, missing a number of opportunities to get his third goal, coming close on a few occasions. The best player on the pitch, and it wasn't all that close.

 

Substitutes

Jamie McGrath - 6

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Replacing Horgan at the interval, McGrath brought a bit more composure to Ireland's attacking play in the second half.

McGrath was very good on the ball and is also a physically imposing player.

 

Chiedozie Ogbene - 8

Ogbene worked hard to impose himself on the game after coming on, although he failed to get much immediate joy as Ireland struggled to keep the ball.

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Still, you could see the threat he poses with his pace, burning opposition defenders on a couple of occasions. He grew into the game as it went on, taking his header brilliantly at the end, admittedly with a helping hand from the goalkeeper.

 

Conor Hourihane & Troy Parrott - N/A

Not on long enough to rate.

SEE ALSO: Dundalk Fans Direct Pig Head At Former Player During Rovers Win

Gary Connaughton

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