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Ireland Player Ratings As Kenny's Side Suffer Another Nations League Defeat Against Ukraine

Ireland Player Ratings As Kenny's Side Suffer Another Nations League Defeat Against Ukraine
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Gary Connaughton reporting from the Aviva Stadium

Another game, another disappointing UEFA Nations League result for Ireland.

It was hoped that Stephen Kenny's side would get the monkey off their back in this competition against an understrength Ukraine tonight, but despite a fast start, they failed to impress for much of the contest.

Ireland were poor in the final third, while one defensive lapse cost them dearly in the 1-0 defeat.

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

Ireland player ratings vs Ukraine

Caoimhín Kelleher - 6

Had very little to do in the first half, dealing comfortably with Ukraine's two shots on target from long range (he had no chance for the disallowed goal).

He perhaps could have done better for the opening goal, although Kelleher would have expected his defenders to deal with the cross.


Nathan Collins - 8

Showed a remarkable turn of pace to stop a dangerous Ukrainian counterattack early on. Collins proved to be key to the Irish attack in the opening period, stepping in to snuff out opposition attacks and moving the ball forward at pace.

The Burnley man continued to be Ireland's most impactful defender as the game went on, making a number of crucial interventions at the back. Ireland's best player on the night.

Shane Duffy - 6

Asked very few questions in the opening half, but should have done better for Ukraine's goal. A mixup between himself and John Egan allowed the ball to go all the way into the far corner from a cross from a free-kick.


Had a half chance from a header soon after but directed it straight at the Ukrainian goalkeeper. Came agonisingly close to an equaliser in the 79th minute, only for his header to be directed onto the crossbar.

John Egan - 6

Did not have a whole lot of defending to do in the first half, although he did press very well in the middle third at times. He played a role in conceding the opening goal just after the interval, tangling with his man in the box and failing to deal with the cross that eventually found its way into the next.

Egan was replaced just before the hour mark after picking up an injury.


Cyrus Christie - 5

Wasn't really involved in Ireland's attacking play in the first half, not getting forward to offer an option on the overlap when it was needed at times.

Much of the Ukrainian play seemed to come down that right flank, leaving Collins to clean up plenty of of dangerous attacks. Replaced after 68 minutes.

Enda Stevens - 6

Looked more involved in Ireland's buildup play this evening, although he was afforded plenty of space down that left flank. In saying this, his impact did wain a little bit as the game went on.


He did okay defensively, before being replaced with 20 minutes to go.


Jeff Hendrick - 5


Picked out a few nice passes in the first half, most notably to release Callum Robinson in behind who then went to ground in the box. However, his final ball did let him down on a couple of occasions when Ireland looked to be in on goal.


Much like in Yerevan, his energy levels dropped off quite a bit in the second half as his lack of football this season began to tell. Ireland are heavily dependent on Hendrick for creativity in the final third, but he couldn't really provide it today.


Josh Cullen - 6

Looked much more like himself in comparison to the Armenia game, pressing well in midfield and putting pressure on the opposition when they had possession. Despite this, his passing was often found wanting.


He flashed a long range effort just wide in the closing stages, with the goalkeeper looking well beaten. Cullen did have a bit more impact late on as Ireland chased the game, injecting some pace into their play with his passing.

Chiedozie Ogbene - 6

Ogbene was frequently targeted by long balls into forward areas, with Ireland seemingly attempting to take advantage of Ukraine's decision to leave a 2v2 situation at the back at times. He worked tirelessly, but things didn't really come off for him in the opening 45 minutes.

He continued to work hard throughout the game. Despite this, he just couldn't get going to the degree we have become accustomed to seeing in an Ireland jersey.

Jason Knight - 7

Showed plenty of intent right from the off, producing a beautiful piece of skill in midfield to turn and run at the Ukrainian defence after only one minute. He came close to opening the scoring on a couple of occasions, forcing two saves from Lunin in the opening ten minutes.

Knight continued to be Ireland's best attacking player in the second half, looking tidy on the ball and acting as the only real threat up front, flashing a difficult chance over the bar in stoppage time. A good performance from the Cabinteely native.

Callum Robinson - 5

Showed some good movement at times in the opening half, although his teammates failed to find him in good positions on a couple of occasions.

Had a penalty shout waved away just after the half hour mark, with the Ukrainian defender getting a toe on the ball before taking down the Ireland forward. He was caught offside far too easily on a few occasions throughout the game.

He was a non-factor in the second half as the team struggled to retain possession, coming off with just over 20 minutes to go.


Dara O'Shea - 6

Looked very uncomfortable on the ball after his introduction, almost allowing Ukraine in on goal due to a wayward pass. Did settle down after that.


James McClean - 6

McClean wasn't afforded much space down the left after coming on, although he did whip in a couple of decent set-pieces.

Michael Obafemi - 7

Service was lacking after his introduction, although Obafemi had a half chance with a glancing header that drifted wide. His movement was excellent even if it counted for little in the end.


Alan Browne - 6

Brought on at right wingback, Browne got on a decent amount of possession but would have hoped to do a bit more in attacking areas.

CJ Hamilton - 6

Was not all that involved in the game apart from one good piece of play down the right which resulted in a decent chance for Ireland.

SEE ALSO: Shane Duffy To Have Talks About Brighton Future After Ireland Games

shane duffy future brighton ireland


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