Ireland v Armenia: Player ratings as Stephen Kenny's team lose 1-0 in Nations League game
Armenia 1-0 Republic of Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland lost 1-0 to Armenia in the opening game of their Uefa Nations League campaign on Saturday.
In sweltering heat at the Republic Stadium in Yereven, Stephen Kenny's side struggled to break down the team ranked 92nd in the world.
Ireland were flat and laboured and looked tired after a long season. In the second half, Armenia grew into the game and secured a deserved winner thanks to Eduard Spertsyan's long-range strike.
The Irish team's wait to win a Nations League match goes on and here's how we rated the Ireland players.
Ireland v Armenia player ratings.
Caoimhin Kelleher - 5
The Liverpool goalkeeper came into the team to win his fifth cap, with regular number one Gavin Bazunu on the bench with a back issue.
Kelleher was given another opportunity to claim the first choice Ireland jersey, and he started strongly with a save down low to his right. Kelleher didn't have a lot to do, but he was a calm presence behind the Ireland defence and was comfortable in possession.
However, none of that ultimately mattered as Kelleher failed to stop Spertsyan's long-range strike. The goalkeeper arguably should have got closer to it.
Some ping to be fairpic.twitter.com/bTOUPLKFVd
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) June 4, 2022
Seamus Coleman - 4
The Ireland captain started at right wing-back due to Matt Doherty's absence through injury but didn't provide the same attacking surge as his teammate. Coleman played more games than any other Irish player in the Premier League last season, and it showed on Saturday. After an exhausting season for Everton, the Donegal native looked off the pace, which isn't a surprise.
Nathan Collins - 5
Collins won the man of the match award for Ireland in his last outing against Lithuania and the Burnley defender finished the season in excellent form. He deservedly started on Saturday and looked comfortable in a back three, making his fair share of interceptions and successful tackles.
Shane Duffy - 5
Duffy was booked for a clumsy challenge in the first half and dropped too deep before Armenia's goal. Ireland failed to utilise his threat at set-pieces.
John Egan - 5
Solid at the back and neat in possession.
Enda Stevens - 4
Stevens hit plenty of crosses and attempted to get forward but ultimately didn't provide enough of an attacking threat.
Josh Cullen - 5
Cullen offered a threat with some decent set-piece deliveries, and he was Ireland's most comfortable player in possession. He also helped win the ball back on several occasions.
Jeff Hendrick - 3
Hendrick played some decent forward passes and was mostly neat in possession in the first half. The Newcastle United midfielder, however, faded from the game and failed to make an impact in the final third.
He was also caught out of position as Armenia played on the counter-attack and left Cullen with a lot of space to cover.
If Kenny is going to continue to start Hendrick in midfield, he will need to play a third midfielder as Cullen is left with too much to do defensively.
Hendrick wanders from midfield but offers very little in the final third. The midfielder failed to get anywhere near Spertsyan and he didn't win the ball back at all throughout the game.
Chiedozie Ogbene - 5
Ogbene stretched the Armenian defence with his direct running and pace. The Rotherham forward almost set up a goal with a run beyond the defence and cutback for Callum Robinson and he linked up well with Hendrick.
The former Cork City forward timed his runs well and was a valuable attacking outlet for Kenny's team. He missed Ireland's best chance of the game when he had a free header before half-time.
Callum Robinson - 4
Robinson was lively but struggled to make an impact.
Troy Parrott - 4
Parrott scored Ireland's winner against Lithuania in March, but he was on the edge of the game on Saturday and rarely involved before he was taken off for Michael Obafemi after the hour mark.
Michael Obafemi, James McClean, Jason Knight - 5.
The trio of substitutes failed to offer Ireland the spark that was required but the game had begun slipping away from the team by the time they came on.
Will Keane and Alan Browne N/A.
Not on long enough to rate.