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13th Jun 2015

Player ratings: Man-of-the-match Wes Hoolahan whipped off as Ireland stumble to Scots


Conan Doherty

A night that started so brightly, disintegrated. Quickly.

Ireland have left their chances of qualification for Euro 2016 hanging by a thread after a 1-1 draw with Scotland at the Aviva.

After Jon Walters opened the scoring for a bringht and enthusiastic Irish team, Scotland took control after the break, Steven Fletcher equalised, Wes Hoolahan was brought off inexplicably and the country’s dreams were left in tatters.

Here are how the players got on in what was largely a disappointing evening in Dublin.

Shay Given – 5
Couldn’t do much for the deflected goal – not that he tried. Flapped heart-stoppingly at a nothing cross into the box that was almost fatal and had a couple of miscued kicks that didn’t help. Claimed a few short balls, no saves to note.

Seamus Coleman – 5
Threatened to have the night he has always been threatening to have for Ireland. It was only a threat though. Coleman is unfairly judged because, whenever he collects the ball in his own half, people whinge at him for not taking it past five men and just scoring. He did get forward very well, he was always an outet but his final ball let him down.


John O’Shea – 6
Typical John O’Shea performance, held the line with conviction, couple of mincing challenges that had the crowd cheering, good in the air. Deflected the Scottish equaliser in off his backside, too. Typical.

Marc Wilson – 5
Steady enough at the back. Very unsteady on the ball. Knocked a few needless ones into no-one and lost the ball at the back to keep the pressure on the Irish. Martin O’Neill gave him a mouth-full at one stage for hoofing clear under no pressure.

Robbie Brady – 5
Seemed pretty comfortable at left back no matter how many times he’s asked if he could play there. Got forward just twice to good effect and whipped in the corner for the opener. As the game wore on though, his delivery was unpredictable and, with the last chance of the game, he pelted one off McClean.


Glenn Whelan – 6
Few big challenges that the Irish appreciated but a few miscued passes they didn’t appreciate so much. Tidied up plenty though.

James McCarthy – 7
There could be no doubts about where McCarthy’s loyalties lay. Put a dent in a number of Scottish bodies early, really got stuck in for the cause. Neat passes and a number of key interceptions that turned defence into attack. Grew into the game as well and started trying to thread passes.


Jeff Hendrick – 5
Did well to stay on when both Whelan and Hoolahan were whipped off. Didn’t do much wrong but didn’t impress on the game a lot either.

Wes Hoolahan – 9
Genius. The lad’s a magician. He weaved in between the Scottish defence like they were just stationary road cones and everything that was good from Ireland came from the little number 20. The Scots tried to get very tight to him in the second half, it didn’t work. He continued to be the Irish fulcrum and it was incredulous – changing formation or not – that he was substituted with over a quarter of an hour to go.


Daryl Murphy – 6
Always an out. His first half was full-blooded. Won ball in the air, led the line and tried to get in behind. Tired as the game wore on and a couple of half chances went begging for him.

Jon Walters – 8
A fantastic shift from the big beautiful brute. He was up top for some of it and on the right for most of it but he terrorised poor Craig Forsyth with his aerial prowess. Scored the goal in the first half that had the Irish dancing. His touch was impeccable and his strength was a real bulldozer for the hosts. He held up the ball and started countless attacks.



James McClean – 6
Lifted the crowd like he always does. Got down the line, won corners, won tackles and put himself about like there was no tomorrow. Desperately unlucky that his late header was deflected wide.

Robbie Keane – 6
Lively introduction, got on the ball, stung the ‘keeper’s hands with a left-footed drive but came on for Hoolahan so naturally the Irish side lost direction in the absence of their maestro. Didn’t have much to feed off. Great footwork at stages though.

Shane Long
O’Neill left it far too late to bring him on.

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