Football

Ireland Player Ratings As Kenny's Team Fall To Defeat In Finland

Ireland Player Ratings As Kenny's Team Fall To Defeat In Finland

We just lack that clinical edge.

Ireland put in another decent performance tonight, but they failed to find the back of the net for a fourth successive game. It was an uncharacteristic mistake at the back that cost them in the end.

Here's

Ireland Player Ratings

Darren Randolph - 5

Made a routine save in the 16th minute from a long-range shot, with that being the only thing he was asked to do in the opening period.

He was at fault for the game's opening goal, giving the ball away very carelessly from a goal kick. That ultimately proved to be the difference.

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Matt Doherty - 7

Had little impact going forward early on as most of the play went down the opposite flank, but did threaten a bit more as the half went on.

That continued into the second half, with Doherty continuing to cause problems. His effort from outside the box drifted wide, before having a header well saved by the Finland goalkeeper late on. Laid it on a plate for Curtis only for the goalkeeper to come to the rescue again.

He is certainly having a bigger impact on this team as they spend more time under Kenny.

 

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Shane Duffy - 6

Duffy wasn't placed under all that much pressure in the first half, although he did make one or two vital contributions when called upon.

Could do little to prevent the Finnish goal. He had a good opportunity with ten minutes to go, and while it was by no means easy, a player with his aerial ability would have been disappointed no to hit the target.

 

Dara O'Shea - 7

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Making his senior international debut, the 21-year old made a couple of very impressive tackles early on. He also showed a willingness to carry the ball into midfield and also stepped out of the back line to hassle the ball carrier on occasion.

He made a vital block just after the hour mark to prevent what looked likely to be a Finland goal, and was very unfortunate when they eventually did open the scoring.

 

Enda Stevens - 6

Stevens linked up well with Aaron Connolly down the left, even if the home side did tend to crowd that flank when Ireland were in possession.

He came agonisingly close to opening the scoring when his beautiful dinked effort rebounded off the crossbar. A decent showing.

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Jayson Molumby - 7

Bringing his trademark energy to midfield, the Brighton man hassled and harried the opposition throughout.

He was a willing runner on the ball when given the opportunity and was a menace both on and off the ball. A spot in the Irish midfield should be his to lose now.

 

Conor Hourihane - 5

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As we have become accustomed to seeing under Stephen Kenny, Hourihane was usually the one to drop deep and take the ball from the centre backs.

His influence wained on the game went on, although he did threaten from set-pieces on occasion.

 

Jeff Hendrick - 6

Hendrick got into good positions early in the game and really should have done better with the chance that fell his way at the edge of the box early on, hitting straight at the Finnish defender.

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He almost acted as a second striker out of possession, pushing right up alongside Maguire. He linked the play much better in the second half, showing calmness on the ball and contributing to a couple of impressive Irish moves.

Replaced by Adam Idah.

 

Daryl Horgan - 5

Horgan was quiet in the opening period, although he did show a cool head in the box to set up a brilliant chance for Jeff Hendrick.

The Wycombe player continued to look lively throughout, including almost getting on the end of a Jayson Molumby cross just before the hour mark. Substituted with 15 minutes to go.

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Sean Maguire - 6

Maguire was a willing runner from the off, showing for the ball every time Ireland got into an attacking area. Had one chance in the opposition penalty area in the first half, but his touch let him down.

Had little impact in the second half before being replaced by Robbie Brady in the 53rd minute.

 

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Aaron Connolly - 8

Connolly was aggressive in the final third, with the Finland defence more than willing to take him down when got a bit of momentum. He provided a beautiful pass to Maguire in the box to set him but the striker's touch let him down.

Moved into the middle after Maguire was withdrawn and continued to press the issue up front. He had a number of shots at goal, a couple of which asked questions of the goalkeeper. He did everything but score, something that probably sums up Ireland's issues at the moment.

Ireland have lacked a player willing to take the responsibility for making things happen for too long, and Connolly is now that man. He just needs to break the scoring duck.

 

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Substitutes

Robbie Brady - 6

The Burnley player brought plenty of composure on the ball down the right flank after his introduction. He tried to make things happen, but Finland defended well by in-large.

 

Ronan Curtis - 6

Curtis struggled to get into the game after coming on, but he very nearly got the late equaliser. His header was an excellent one, only to be denied by a wonder save from the Finnish goalkeeper.

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Adam Idah - 5

Idah looked to be threat after coming on but nothing really fell for him as Finland dropped deep in order to protect the lead.

 

Jason Knight - N/A

A debut for Knight, but not on long enough to rate.

 

SEE ALSO: 'There Were People On The Inside Who Knew The Skulduggery Going On'

brian kerr niall quinn john delaney

Gary Connaughton

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