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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 15 September, 2019
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Player ratings: How the Boys in Green fared against Bulgaria

Josh Cullen was the standout performer, as Ireland retained their unbeaten record under Mick McCarthy.

Mark Travers

6Our Rating

Couldn't do much about the well-placed penalty and otherwise had very little to do in goal and had an assured debut, aside from one dodgy kickout early on.

6

John Egan

6Our Rating

The captain for the night looked comfortable for the most part, but will be disappointed with the clumsy challenge that prompted the referee to point to the penalty spot.

6

Conor Hourihane

5Our Rating

The experiment of playing him at left-back didn't seem to work particularly well. He didn't have much to do defensively and didn't threaten in attack, with his delivery disappointing on more than one occasion before being replaced by James McClean with 20 minutes to go.

6

Cyrus Christie

5Our Rating

Didn't offer enough of a threat going forward and got caught in possession for the goal. 

6

Kevin Long

7Our Rating

Took his goal really well and looked a commanding presence at the back.

6

Josh Cullen

8Our Rating

A deserving man of the match, Cullen always showed for the ball and was technically accomplished, while taking up some good defensive positions when necessary. Didn't look fazed at all in making his international debut.

6

Alan Browne

6Our Rating

Took up a good position for the opening goal but largely failed to stamp his influence on the game.

6

Alan Judge

5Our Rating

Had a header that hit the roof of the net in the first half, but will be disappointed overall that he couldn't influence the game more before being replaced by Jack Byrne on 59 minutes.

6

Scott Hogan

6Our Rating

Got an assist for the goal, but was isolated and uninvolved for long periods of the match. Hard not to feel sympathy for him though, given the lack of service.

6

Ronan Curtis

6Our Rating

Didn't have the best of times in the first half, but showed good perseverance, and it was his powerful shot that led to the opening goal.

6

Callum O'Dowda

5Our Rating

Produced one or two decent balls into the box, but overall, was quiet and failed to make a compelling case for his inclusion in the upcoming qualifiers.

6

Mick McCarthy

7Our Rating

Will be disappointed by how lethargic his team looked in a dreary first half, but they improved after the break, with his substitutions making a difference in the game.

6

Subs: Ireland improved in the second half, and that was thanks in part to the impact of the substitutions. Jack Byrne was especially influential, providing the assist for the second goal and having a hand in the third. James Collins took his goal well and provided Ireland with greater presence up top, while the team looked far more of a threat down the left once James McClean and Enda Stevens were introduced - 8/10

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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