Player ratings as heroic Ireland book Euro 2016 tickets at an electric Aviva
WE DID IT!
Jesus, we did it.
Against the odds, against a horrible group, against the play-off and the fog, we did it.
Ireland are going to France for the European Championships after seeing off Bosnia 2-0 in Dublin (3-1 on aggregate) and here are the heroes who booked the plane tickets.
Thank you, lads.
Darren Randolph 9
So composed. So confident. So steady.
Seamus Coleman 9
Richard Keogh 9
No-one deserved to start more and, by Jesus, he justified it. He won’t want the term to stick but he was an absolute ball-magnet on Monday night.
Ciaran Clark 9
Solid as a rock. Again. Got in the way of everything, put his body on the line and you can forgive his near-wobbles on the ball because of his honesty and, frankly, his brutality.
Robbie Brady 9
Whilst Ireland’s left flank was like a halfway house the last day – come one, come all – Brady was subjected to the same attention but he wasn’t as hospitable as Ward. Closed the door on many a Bosnian’s face and he got forward dangerously as a good outlet. Number of set pieces hit wayward but when they were on, they were on the money.
Jeff Hendrick 8
Really up for the game. He wanted the ball and he wanted to get forward every time a half chance presented itself. Lively and nimble and went through a mountain of work to help Brady down the left (both directions) in the first period.
Glenn Whelan 8
Tidy. Glad to see him in the way of a number of Bosnian advances. The biggest compliment you could pay him was that he wore orange boots on the night… and he just about got away with it.
James McCarthy 9
Signalled his intent early on by disposing of a Bosnia challenge straight to the turf and starting a brilliant breakaway that almost led to an Irish goal. Read the game well and intercepted some crucial attacking plays. When he’s aggressive and riled even, he’s at his best and white jerseys felt the full force of his mincing challenges in Dublin.
Wes Hoolahan 8
Mouthwatering. Magical. Maestro. His touch was delicious as per usual and his link play was a joy to behold. Off after 55 minutes though as O’Neill looked to sow the game up with McClean.
Jon Walters 11
Daryl Murphy 7
Didn’t provide the same battering ram effect as he did against Germany. Couldn’t get on the end of any long balls and wasn’t given any to his feet but he played the most crucial part in the penalty – in that he won it. Another big shift if nothing else.
James McClean 8
Picked up his obligatory yellow card early on. Came on to the left and offered more defensive cover for the side but, when he got a sniff of grass, he was piling into it and lifting the siege for the country.
Shane Long 8
He’s really fast. Honestly though, he is fast. An unbelievable roar accompanied his return from injury and he lifted the side when we were in danger of sinking deep. Ervin Zukanovic will be having sleepless nights thinking about Shane Long hounding him down. Crazily got in behind to go one on one with the ‘keeper but a last gasp intervention from the back denied him.
John O'Shea 7
On for injury time. Made an interception, barked out orders. Saw us home.
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