Our Ireland player ratings after a ghastly loss to Finland 2 weeks ago

Our Ireland player ratings after a ghastly loss to Finland

IRELAND 0-1 FINLAND

Good grief, that was grim. We took as little pleasure from compiling these Ireland ratings as we did from watching that stuttering 90 minutes from the hosts.

Stephen Kenny's Ireland have commenced their Nations League campaign with a draw [away to Bulgaria] and a home loss to lively Finnish outfit. In truth, Ireland could have little complaints about either result.

The first half was a drab affair, with Ireland's best chance coming when Harry Arter had a pop from around 30 yards out that was comfortably saved. The hosts were left grateful for Darren Randolph, though, when he saved a low Teemu Pukki effort with his legs.

Robbie Brady and Adam Idah in action against Juhani Ojala of Finland during Ireland's UEFA Nations League match at the Aviva Stadium. (Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile)

Ireland looked brighter in the second half but, as they pressed forward, they left themselves open to further Finnish incursions. The visitors brought on Fredrik Jensen after 64 minutes and, 18 seconds after he jogged on, the striker was sliding in at the back post to put his side 1-0 up.

Callum Robinson fashioned two good scoring chances for Ireland, after coming on, but Aaron Connolly and David McGoldrick squandered them.

As the game wound down, it was the visitors that looked more likely to score as Pukki, Nikolai Alho and Robert Taylor went close. Shane Duffy wasted a great chance to level matters in the closing stages but, for Ireland, it was not to be.

Here are our Ireland ratings after a poor day at the office for Stephen Kenny's men.

Darren Randolph - 7

Fine save from Pukki in the first half. Tidy distribution. Was sold short by his defence for the Finnish goal. Made a decent stop from Taylor's drive in the final 15 minutes.

Matt Doherty - 4

Another strangely quiet game from Doherty. Most of Ireland's play filtered up the left in the first half and Doherty did not have a great impact in attack. Gave away possession, on 75 minutes, and needed Randolph to spare his blushes.

Shane Duffy - 5

The Finns had him well marshalled on set-pieces but the Irish deliveries often let him down. When he got his chance, on 87 minutes, he headed over from close range while unmarked. Pressed up to win back possession but was taken out by a Pukki pass for that Jensen goal.

John Egan - 6

Made a crucial, sliding tackle to deny Pukki a one-on-one with Randolph. Not much he could have done for the goal. Tried to offer an extra option at attacking set-pieces but could get nothing on target

Enda Stevens - 4

Got forward as much as possible. Wasteful on a couple of occasions when he was in the final third. Badly caught for Finland's goal and Jensen lost him before scoring.

Robbie Brady - 6

Cramped Connolly for room too much in the first half, as he drifted out left. Won possession for his team to tee up a good chance for Connolly. Did it again but McGoldrick took too long to get his shot away.

Jayson Molumby - 4

A lot of supporters, ex-players and pundits were looking for Molumby to get his chance. He did, but he did not grasp it. Some nice moments but passing often let him down inside the Finnish half. Booked for a rash challenge.

Harry Arter - 6

Stung the Finnish goalkeeper's palms in the first half. Kept it nice and tidy, as we have come to expect of him.

Callum O'Dowda - 5

Cut inside and flashed one just wide. That was his last contribution as a groin injury ended his involvement before the hour mark.

Adam Idah - 5

Struggled to hold up the ball and bring others into play, in the first half. Improved after the break and his nice flick teed up Connolly for an effort.

Aaron Connolly - 6

Took on his markers and drew fouls. Presented with a good scoring chance by Idah, he took the ball too wide and fired into the side-netting. Then missed a glaring chance from Robinson's in-swinging cross.

SUBSTITUTES

Callum Robinson (for O'Dowda '59)

His first act was to fizz one over the Finnish bar from long range. Set up two great scoring chances shortly after that. Was in the mix again, on 70 minutes, but fired right at the goalkeeper.

David McGoldrick (for Idah '65)

Missed two great chances to equalise in the space of 60 seconds. His lack of goalscoring prowess was evident with his tame strike in injury time.

James McClean (for Connolly '78)

One poor cross before setting up McGoldrick for a late razz at goal.