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The Player Ratings From Ireland's 'Meh' Defeat To Iceland

The Player Ratings From Ireland's 'Meh' Defeat To Iceland
By Gavan Casey

Jesus, that was a massive test of character - for anybody watching, that is.

Here are the player ratings from Ireland's tedious 1-0 defeat to Iceland.

Keiren Westwood: 6

Was rooted to the spot for Iceland's goal having - at first glance at least - put too much faith in the wall and stood too far to his right. A couple of more-than-decent interventions in the second half limited Iceland to one goal.

Cyrus Christie: 6.5

Tries things from right-back, and is extremely confident running with the ball. Delivery woeful tonight.

Alex Pearce: 6.5

Quietly commanding. A fine aerial performance in particular, and vocal alongside his less experienced peers in Ireland's backline.

John Egan: 6

In the wars early, but typically confident with the ball at feet - spraying passes as opposed to offloading possession. His mistake led to Iceland's goal, but it was an otherwise assured debut. His father would have been proud of him tonight.

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Robbie Brady: 7.5 (MOTM)

Took to captaincy well and his delivery improved as the game progressed. Great to see him drive forward with possession and, more importantly, keep it, which hasn't been the case at Burnley. Ireland's best performer.

Aiden McGeady: 5.5

Welcome back, in more ways than one.

Jeff Hendrick: 5.5

Quiet again. Assured in possession on the rare occasions he had it, but simply needs to get more involved in Ireland's midfield.

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Conor Hourihane: 6

Martin O'Neill mentioned pre-game that Hourihane's passing ability was a given, and so he had asked the Bandon man to push into space when opportunities arose. Hourihane, in a sense, went the other way, producing a wonderful come-from-behind tackle in 24th minute, and another on the 50-minute mark. Tried things when he had the ball, but didn't sufficiently affect the game to warrant inclusion in a matchday squad for a qualifier barring injury to others.

Jonny Hayes: 7

The 29-year-old Aberdeen man worked tirelessly and showed flashes of quality when it came to delivery from Ireland's left wing. Limits obvious but a decent squad member and a fine display tonight.

James McClean: 7

Doesn't really do friendlies, does he? Another blood-and-thunder display from the Derry man; Brady might have been captain, but McClean is establishing himself as a spiritual leader of sorts in Ireland's team. Isolated somewhat up front off Doyle but did well when he tried to stretch Iceland's rearguard.

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Kevin Doyle: 6

Held ball up well with back to goal, and fleetingly linked up with his old partner in crime Long when they were on the pitch together. First half glancing header his only half-decent chance.

Substitutes

Stephen Gleeson: 6.5

Crucially looked for the ball and played a couple of tidy one-twos. Became more involved in the dying moments as he got forward.

Shane Long: 6

Almost 'n/a', but closed down well and a stoppage time burst had the crowd on its feet.

Andy Boyle:6

Sloppy start in possession but made one especially commanding header from a long throw.

Daryl Horgan: 7

Almost made an immediate impact as he put in Ireland's best cross of the evening moments after coming on. His second possession produced similar as he looped a delicious ball across the Icelandic six-yard box. Very composed, backed his pace, and proved himself a potential 'Plan B' for Austria.

Callum O'Dowda: 6.5

Made a fine impact with one particularly dazzling run and strike. Closed down well.

Eunan O'Kane: 6.5

Lovely ball around the corner to O'Dowda for one of Ireland's rare half-chances. Looked accomplished and drove forward at every opportunity.

SEE ALSO: Iceland's beautiful winning goal vs Ireland

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