Republic of Ireland Player Ratings as Ireland record back-to-back wins ahead of Portuguese test

Tue, Oct 12 2021
The Boys in Green in blue ahead of kick-off against Qatar

The Boys in Green in blue ahead of kick-off against Qatar Credit: Muller Santos (ETPhotos)

It has been a long time since the Republic of Ireland recorded a 4-0 victory and while it was against a surprisingly inept Qatar side, it was still a great confidence booster for Stephen Kenny’s squad coming so soon after the stirring 2-0 away win against Azerbaijan in Baku on Saturday night.

Here is how the players rated:

Caoimhin Kelleher 6

The fact that it was the 56th minute before he had a save to make, and that it was a routine catch from a barely contested corner for Qatar, says it all about Ireland’s dominance in the game.

He has had more difficult training sessions than this match and frequently was positioned outside his box acting as an additional defender when required.

Would have liked a stiffer challenge to put pressure on Gavin Bazunu for the No 1. Jersey and also to impress Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Andrew Omobamidele 7

A very confident performance on the right-hand side of a three-man defence, albeit against a very limited Qatar attack.

Another player who is very comfortable with Ireland’s style of play, he made a last-ditch tackle on Almoex Ali in the 44thminute to prevent a possible Qatar shot on target.

He seems to have made the right side of a three-man defence his own but will be tested much more assuming he is selected for the Portugal match in November 

Shane Duffy 8

The captain was commanding as always at the back and was usually the one to sense danger first on the odd occasion that Qatar made it into their final third.

Took his customary headed goal very well which now puts him on six international goals.

Duffy is back to his imperious best for both Brighton and Ireland, he will be a key player when Portugal arrive in November.

John Egan 7

A typically solid performance from one of the four Cork players in the starting XI, he is very comfortable with Stephen Kenny’s desire to play out from the back whenever possible.

Got forward for a header which was saved and was an aerial threat for all of Ireland’s corners.

Took over the captain’s armband when Duffy went off in the 76th minute, he looks like potential skipper material in the future.

Matt Doherty 6

Picked up an injury in the 24th minute and struggled a little bit until he was substituted at half time.

A moment of hesitation by him in the 37th minute allowed Qatar’s best player Afif a shot on goal, but Duffy put in a blocking tackle and was issued a captain’s rebuke from Duffy for his lack of concentration

Generally got up and down the right flank to good effect, one great run in the sixth minute led to one of many corners that Ireland earned during the match.

Enda Stevens 7

Was up against one of Qatar’s stronger players in Pedro, but dealt with him comfortably over the course of the 90 minutes.

Linked up very well with Jamie McGrath and Jeff Hendrik and could have had a goal from Cyrus Christie’s cross late in the match but a Qatar defender just intercepted the pass before he could pull the trigger.

Will be more than happy with his contribution given that he has been out of the side in recent times through injury. 

Jeff Hendrick 9

On any other occasion he would have been a shoo-in for man of the match award such was the powerful performance he put on over the course of the game.

He made a subline pass for Robinson’s third goal having also been involved in the one touch football that led to the West Brom’s strikers first goal.

An excellent all-round performance from the Newcastle United player, both defensively and offensively, he will need a repeat of this performance when faced with the more formidable presence of Bruno Fernandez when Portugal rock up to the Aviva Stadium in November.

Conor Hourihane 7

Used his left foot to great effect in his best position sitting in front of the defence, spraying short and long passes to the wide players

Whipped in a great ball for an Ogbene header in the 11th minute but he did get his name into the record books with an assist in the 59th minute, his pinpoint corner allowing Duffy register Ireland’s fourth goal.

Substituted in the 87th minute but by that stage he had put in a very solid shift.

James McGrath 8

 A very influential performance from the Meath man who is growing in confidence with every game in an Irish Jersey.

Was always available for the outball and another one to get an assist to his name, his close control drew a foul from a defender inside the penalty area in the 12th minute. Robinson then despatched it with great confidence for his and Ireland’s second goal.

The defensive side of his game is also very strong as evidenced by a well time tackle on Qatar’s Al-Haydos, this time back in Ireland’s own penalty area, late in the first half.

Callum Robinson 9

Man of the Match performance by Ireland’s hat trick hero.

His first goal came after only four minutes when he initiated and finished a one touch football move that started on the left wing.

He was always going to grab the ball when Ireland was awarded the penalty and he later read Jeff Hendrick’s through ball to perfection to slide the ball under the body of Meshaal Barsham for his third goal in the 53rd minute.

It’s been a long time since an Irish striker scored five goals in four days, he well deserves the MOTM award.

Chiedozie Ogbene 8

The young Corkman more than justified his selection with a very effective performance on the right side of the attack.

Got into dangerous positions on numerous occasions and was unlucky his goal bound header from a Robinson cross came off the cross bar in the 39th minute.

Got a great ovation from the 25,000+ crowd when substituted in the 68th minute and his infectious personality looks like he will be a crowd favourite in future.

Substitutes:

Cyrus Christie 6

Came on for Doherty at the break and slotted in seamlessly at right wing back.

Got forward on a number of occasions but he did not always take the right options when in advanced positions.

A solid squad player at this stage, he sits behind Coleman, Doherty and Omobamidele in the selection process for a right sided defender.

Kevin Knight 6

Came on for Ogbene in the 68th minute and showed some drive along the right flank on a number of occasions.

Has been out through injury but the run out will do him good in preparation for more testing encounters in the World Cup qualification games ahead.

 Nathan Collins 6

A debut for the ex-Cherry Orchard player, he has the build of a solid centre half, and looked comfortable on the ball in his 16 minutes on the pitch.

Troy Parrott 6

Came on for Robinson in the 67th minute, he made a few surging runs in search of a goal but was unable to test the keeper.

Harry Arter

Not on long enough to rate

James Collins

Not on long enough to rate.

Manager:

Stephen Kenny 9

Has to be commended for sticking to his main principles of blooding new players and introducing a more enlightened style of play.

This will go down as one of his easier tests but Ireland has often come up short before against so called weaker teams so full marks to him for extracting a very comprehensive performance from a group of players who seem to seem to be enjoying their football under his stewardship.

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