Ireland player ratings as Stephen Kenny's team lose 2-1 to Scotland 2 months ago

Ireland player ratings as Stephen Kenny's team lose 2-1 to Scotland

Scotland 2 - 1 Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland played Scotland in the Uefa Nations League on Saturday night at Hampden Park. Here is how we rated the Ireland players in the 2-1 loss.

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Scotland v Ireland: First half.

Scotland had the better of the opening period at Hampden Park. The home side cut Ireland open with a free-flowing move, passing through the lines and bypassing Ireland's midfield. Troy Parrott, however, came the closest to opening the scoring.

The Ireland striker thought he beat the offside trap, carried the ball through on goal and lifted an excellent finish past Craig Gordon. The goal, however, was ruled out for offside.

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Yet, Ireland didn't have to wait long to find the net again. Michael Obafemi picked up the ball on the halfway line and ran at Scotland's defence. The Swansea City striker passed to Parrott, who saw his shot blocked and go out for a corner.

McClean whipped his cross from the corner to the back post. The ball bounced loose but was put back into the danger area by Jayson Molumby, who flew through the air to win a header.

Nathan Collins tried to control the ball but, before he take a second touch, Ireland captain John Egan smashed the ball into the net.

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Ireland were ahead and were winning individual battles all over the pitch. Egan, Collins and O'Shea comfortably dealt with centre forward Lyndon Dykes. Josh Cullen, Jason Knight and Molumby snapped into tackles in midfield while Parrot and Obafemi were a threat up front.

Scotland had more of the ball in the first half and kept the pressure on Ireland after falling behind. But the home team created very few clear openings on goal and were relying on set-pieces to try to trouble Kenny's team. Gavin Bazunu wasn't required to make a save during the first half.

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Scotland v Ireland: Second half.

The Ireland goalkeeper, however, was soon picking the ball out of his net as the Scots were level after just five minutes of the second half.

Ryan Christie drifted by Matt Doherty, who had a feeble attempt to stop his opponent, before clipping a cross into the centre of the penalty area.

Scotland defender Jack Hendry was unmarked and headed the ball past Bazunu to make it 1-1.

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Scotland continued to pile pressure on Ireland but were almost caught on the counter-attack. Obafemi won the ball and broke free before teeing up Parrot.

The Preston North End striker was one on one with the Scotland goalkeeper, with time to pick his spot and the whole goal to aim for. Yet, Parrott ended up hitting Gordon with his scuffed shot.

Despite the striker's obvious threat on the counter-attack, Kenny opted to substitute Obafemi - who had played a key part in Ireland's best goalscoring chances. Chiedozie Ogbene replaced the Swansea striker.

Ireland, however, didn't pose the same threat on the break for the rest of the match.

Scotland continued to push for a winner and got a reward for their efforts when the referee awarded a penalty for handball in the 82nd minute. The Ireland players protested, but Alan Browne clearly handled the ball in the box, and Ryan Christie calmly dispatched the penalty.

The Scots held on to win and avenge their 3-0 defeat from June. Ireland could be relegated from the group if they do not beat Armenia at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday.

Scotland v Ireland: Player ratings.

Gavin Bazunu: 7
Matt Doherty: 6
Nathan Collins: 8
John Egan: 8
Dara O’Shea: 7
James McClean: 6
Josh Cullen: 6
Jayson Molumby: 7
Jason Knight: 6
Troy Parrott: 6
Michael Obafemi: 7 

Substitutes.

Seamus Coleman: 5
Chiedozie Ogbene: 5
Callum Robinson: 5
Alan Browne: 5
Robbie Brady: N/A

Manager rating: 6.

Stephen Kenny picked the right team and his team were excellent in the first half. The Ireland coach, however, made a poor decision to substitute Obafemi, the team's most dangerous player on the counter-attack. He also didn't respond or make alterations as Ireland were overwhelmed and overrun for most of the second half.

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