Player ratings as battling Ireland draw 1-1 in Slovakia... but it isn't enough this time
A case of too little, too late for Ireland as Mick McCarthy's reign ended with a spirited fight-back but penalty heartbreak in Bratislava.
Slovakia 1-1 Ireland - AET
(Slovakia win 3-2 on penalties)
A lifeless, forgetful first half did nothing but deter the neutrals as Ireland set up camp, made it difficult for the hosts to break them down and kept poor, old David McGoldrick chasing long, hopeless balls all alone.
Marek Hamsik's 55th minute opener seemed to spur a mindset change within Ireland and some attacking moves from the bench helped the cause with substitute Conor Hourihane grabbing a late equaliser.
In the end, it wasn't to be as three missed penalties put the nails in Ireland's Euro 2020 coffin.
Ireland's average formation
Here's how the players rated.
Darren Randolph 9/10
Two penalty saves weren't enough as Hendrick, McClean and Kevin Long all missed theirs from the spot. Produced three one-on-one stops in normal time. Could do nothing about Hamsik's curler.
Matt Doherty 8/10
Ireland's best attacking threat all night. Got down the right flank to great effect but, with Alan Browne and Jeff Hendrick taking turns on the wing, he didn't have much support to make real in-roads.
Shane Duffy 7/10
It was obvious that if Ireland were going to score, it was going to be from the centre half's head and he was unlucky twice to see two efforts fly over the crossbar.
John Egan 6/10
Steady and tough as you'd expect but was under immense pressure as the Slovakia midfield came tearing through time and time again.
Enda Stevens 5/10
A couple of nice crosses but McGoldrick was surrounded in the box every time they sought him out. Stevens was frustrated as Ireland were penned in and, with McClean carrying an injury, he was left with less back-up than usual.
Alan Browne 4/10
Asked to play on the right again for large parts of the game and struggled to make any impact on the ball. Worked hard off it.
Glenn Whelan 3/10
Was there to be anchor that would allow nothing to pass but acted more like a hologram as the Slovakia midfield waltzed through Ireland. Had a couple of opportunities to play runners in behind but opted instead to go back. The team were much better when Hourihane came on in the 68th minute.
James McCarthy 5/10
Tidy and safe on the ball. Didn't impact the game because he had no-one to pass to.
Jeff Hendrick 4/10
120 minutes of running. Too safe with his passing and wasteful with his touches when Ireland needed him to be creative. Blazed his penalty over.
James McClean 4/10
Not long out of his cast, McClean wasn't expected to be back in training for another month but McCarthy threw him in anyway. Tried his heart out but an early yellow card meant he was toeing the line and crossed a number of times into an empty box.
David McGoldrick 5/10
Had an average of 50 metres between him and his midfielders for most of the game. Was way better when he had players who came on and looked to attack with him.
Conor Hourihane 7/10
Brought much more drive in the engine room than Glenn Whelan did and his free kick was stunning. You wonder why he didn't start.
Aaron Connolly 7/10
Came on for Alan Browne and gave Ireland an out. Much-needed support for McGoldrick up top and won the free that led to the goal because Slovakia were afraid of him. You wonder why he didn't start.
Kevin Long 5/10
A defensive sub to see out the draw.