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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 26 June, 2019
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How we rated the Irish players as they make hard work of seeing off Gibraltar

Robbie Brady added the gloss late on as Ireland huffed and puffed their way to a 2-0 win.

Gavin Cooney reports from the Aviva Stadium

Darren Randolph

7Our Rating

 

Made one save he could have made with his eyes closed. Otherwise, he had absolutely nothing to do.

6

Seamus Coleman

7Our Rating

Arguably Ireland’s most consistent attacking threat from right-back. Linked up pretty well with Robinson on the right wing, where both made the intelligent and alternating runs that eluded the Stevens/McClean axis on the opposite flank. Frustratingly, too many of his crosses bounced off the player in front of him. 

 

6

Shane Duffy

6Our Rating

Duffy picked the right game to put in his poorest Irish performance in a while. A snapshot of just how sloppy he was - a wild shot from distance that tested the glass at the Havelock Square End; a simple five-yard pass to Coleman that went right out of play; a cumbersome foul on Tjay De Barr; a last-ditch block on...a Conor Hourihane free-kick. 

 

6

Richard Keogh

7Our Rating

 

What little he had to do, he did it perfectly well. Bonus mark for his Beckenbauer impersonation in the second half.

6

Enda Stevens

5Our Rating

 

Was untested defensively, and as has been the case in previous games, really struggled going forward. That reality, along with the fact he and James McClean are still yet to show any signs of chemistry down Ireland’s left flank was encapsulated by an appalling loose pass out of play just before the hour mark.

6

Conor Hourihane

5Our Rating

He kept the ball moving laterally perfectly well, without ever looking like he had the right key to pick the lock clamped to the Gibraltar goal.

6

Jeff Hendrick

5Our Rating

 

Hendrick wasn’t terrible - but hopes he would become the Irish midfield player to dominate Alamo rehearsals like these are fading. Having initially started deep alongside Hourihane, he was allowed to push forward to find some try and find some space between the Gibraltar lines. There was, admittedly, little, and what few clever passes he tried didn’t come off. Spends a frustrating amount of time pointing to where someone should pass the ball, rather than demanding it himself.

6

Callum Robinson

7Our Rating

 

Okay, we may be damning him with faint praise - but Robinson was among Ireland’s brightest attackers. He showed genuine signs of linking well with Coleman - something neither Matt Doherty nor Robbie Brady have shown in the campaign and looked the only Irish player likely to open space by beating a man. Some of his deliveries from the wing were terrific, although he may have made more sense in a central area, given the quality of his close control.

6

James McClean

6Our Rating

Having offered very little for much of the game, his crossing improved in the second half, and it was his ball that picked out Brady at the back post in injury time. Slightly better - although a match-fit Brady and O'Dowda will push him for his starting place in the Autumn. 

6

David McGoldrick

7Our Rating

 

Posed more of a threat than his strike partner Hogan, although his claim on the opening goal didn’t endure even superficial examination: laughs rippled around the Aviva when the replay was shown on the big screen. Again looked dangerous in the second half, and was unlucky to see a shot rebound off the post.

6

Scott Hogan

5Our Rating

 

His involvement was largely an allegation until the 65th minute, when his near-post shot was clawed way by Goldwin. After which, he was subbed for Maguire.

6

Substitutes

Sean Maguire

5Our Rating

Replaced Hogan wand was similarly anonymous. 

6

Robbie Brady

6Our Rating

Perhaps unfortunate to lose his place for this game, was bright when he came on and capped it with a late, stooped header to double Ireland's lead. 

6

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About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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