Football/Soccer

Republic of Ireland ratings

Ireland left Belgrade with a 3-1 defeat despite going one up in the first half

Republic of Ireland ratings

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifying Group A: Serbia 3 Republic of Ireland 2

Mark Travers: A huge ask for Ireland’s third choice ‘keeper last night. He was well protected in the first half and had no chance for Serbia’s equalising goal before half-time, but his footwork for the second and third wasn’t great. 5

Seamus Coleman: Playing his first match under Stephen Kenny, the Everton man was asked to play in a back three and led by example throughout. Might have got more protection from Ireland’s wing-backs at times. 7

Dara O’Shea: Made a confident start and wasn’t afraid to pass the ball out of defence. For Serbia’s first, the WBA defender was beaten by some excellent movement from Dusan Vlahovic. Justified his inclusion ahead of Shane Duffy. 6

Ciaran Clark: Had a decent first game under Kenny but is better in a back four. He was pulled into the left back position a few times and was beaten for Mitrovic’s second goal. 6

Enda Stevens: Playing in a familiar wing-back role, the Sheffield United man might have offered a bit of help to Josh Cullen at times who had a job minding Tusan Tadic and was too far ahead of the ball at times. 5

Matt Doherty: Quite an understated performance from the Tottenham man in his preferred wing-back role. Didn’t do enough to convince even though Serbia dominated possession. 5

Josh Cullen: Arguably had the toughest job of the lot in trying to track Tusan Tadic and did a lot of ugly stuff well in the first half, but struggled in the second period and gave away possession for Serbia’s third goal. 5

Jayson Molomby: Given his lack of game-time with Preston, it was always unlikely he wouldn’t last the game. Worked and tackled hard before being replaced by Hendrick. 6

Alan Browne: After a couple of ropey passes, he emerged as the architect for Ireland’s long-awaited goal. Showed great determination to head the Irish in front, but was chasing shadows for long periods after that. Should start again on Saturday. 6

Aaron Connolly: Playing down the centre, the Brighton man almost caught out the Serb defence a few times but didn’t really have any chances on the night. Pulled up with cramp and was replaced by Shane Long. 6

Callum Robinson: Probably Ireland’s best player on the night. Lively from the first whistle and gained the Serbian defence’s respect early on. Claimed a great assist for Browne’s goal and looked Ireland’s best attacking threat. 7

Subs:

Jeff Hendrick: Tried to plug holes once the tiring Molomby left the field on 61 minutes. Didn’t convince in the last half hour. 5

Shane Long: Claimed an assist for James Collins’s late goal. Worked hard. 5

Robbie Brady: Busy in the closing stages and did pop the ball into the danger zone that led to Collins’ goal. 5

James McClean: Gave the Irish more width but didn’t have a lot of time to impress. 5

James Collins: An untidy goal but the big Luton striker will take it. 5

 

Serbia: Dmitrovic,Milenkovic,Stefan Mitrovic,Pavlovic,Gajic, Lukic,Racic (Maksimovic 63),Mladenovic (Kostic 46), Tadic (Gudelj 78),Vlahovic (Jovic 82), Djuricic (Aleksandar Mitrovic 63). Subs Not Used: Milinkovic-Savic,Ristic,Nikolic,Spajic,Rajkovic, Radonjic,Petkovic.
Booked: Pavlovic.
Goals: Vlahovic 40,Aleksandar Mitrovic 68,75.
Rep of Ireland: Travers,Coleman,O'Shea,Clark (Brady 79),Doherty, Molumby (Hendrick 61),Cullen,Browne (Collins 79),Stevens, Robinson (McClean 79),Connolly (Shane Long 67).
Subs Not Used: Horgan,Christie,Knight,Bazunu,Lenihan,O'Hara,
Duffy.
Goals: Browne 18,Collins 86.
Ref: Davide Massa (Italy).

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