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Three Republic Of Ireland Players Make Whoscored's Group A Best XI

Three Republic Of Ireland Players Make Whoscored's Group A Best XI
By Jonathan Byrne Updated

Can you guess the three Republic of Ireland players that made it into the Group A Best XI?

Sunday was a decisive day of results in Group A for many reasons, even if the Republic of Ireland's hopes of making a major tournament had been quashed.

Serbia managed a late win at Estádio da Luz to make Portugal's route towards Qatar a tricky one. Aleksandar Mitrović's late goal produced the killer blow.

On the Irish front, it was an important game as pressure was on Stephen Kenny and the players to produce a result against a side who had bogeyed them months before.

The Republic of Ireland finished third in the end, Portugal were second and eight points ahead of Ireland, while Serbia finished top by a three-point margin.

The Group A Best XI

WhoScored is a stats-based football website known for aggregating scores on player performances. They've been keeping tabs on all the World Cup qualifying groups.

Their Group A Best XI features five Portuguese, three Serbs and three Irish. Not an entirely accurate depiction of how the group ended results wise.

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Sadly, no one from Azerbaijan or Luxembourg did well enough to make it into the final eleven. Serbian talisman Dušan Tadić had the highest rating overall.

The Republic of Ireland Contingent

It might be to little surprise to see the likes of Gavin Bazunu and two Irish central defenders in John Egan and Shane Duffy get the nod.

Many have lauded our strong defensive capabilities as a key attribute going forward. The emergence of Bazunu in goal during this campaign has been a revelation.

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Duffy and Egan played in six of the Republic of Ireland's eight World Cup qualifying games, due to various reasons, with injuries playing a factor.

Kieran Clark, Dara O'Shea and Séamus Coleman started in the heart of our defence for our first two matches against Serbia and Luxembourg.

Gavin Bazunu started in seven of the eight World Cup qualifying games. Stephen Kenny gave Mark Travers the nod in our maiden game opposite Serbia.

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Elsewhere

Republic of Ireland aside, Portugal lead the way with full-backs Nuno Mendes and João Cancelo in the mix. Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota make for a dominant Portuguese presence on the flanks.

In the middle of the park - Sergej Milinković-Savić and the aforementioned Dušan Tadić were considered the best, ahead of the likes of João Palhinha or Jeff Hendrick.

Upfront, there's not much shock to see Cristiano Ronaldo there alongside Aleksandar Mitrović, the game-winner on Sunday night.

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See Also: Roy Keane Has Been Gushing Over An England Player In Rare Cameo

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