Ireland v Austria: Player Ratings 9 years ago

Ireland v Austria: Player Ratings

It was a classic case of so near and yet so far at the Aviva Stadium and here’s how we thought the Irish players performed on what turned out to be a bitterly disappointing evening for the Boys in Green.

David Forde 7

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Couldn’t do a lot about either goal and for the second game in succession he was very commanding in the air when coming for crosses. Couldn’t have asked for much more from the Galway man in the last two games.

Seamus Coleman 6

Austria must have been clued in to the threat Coleman can cause in attack because opportunities for him to join in and make a difference in the final third were limited compared to Stockholm on Friday night. He did little wrong besides and the last two games have copper-fastened his place in the team for years to come.

John O’Shea 6

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Booked in the first-half and gave away a needless foul which nearly led to an equaliser minutes before Alaba’s goal arrived. That aside, it was another solid enough showing from the Sunderland man but there are still reasons to be uneasy about his partnership with Clark at the back.

Ciaran Clark 5

A few weeks ago Clark gave away a goal against Manchester City by dallying on the ball and allowing Edin Dzeko to rob it from him and play in Carlos Tevez to score. He obviously didn’t learn from the experience because a similar error tonight allowed Austria to take the lead.

Youth isn’t an excuse for those types of errors; they’re unforgiveable at this level but in fairness to him he didn’t let him affect him too much and had a decent game before being withdrawn with a shoulder injury late on.

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Marc Wilson 6

Like Coleman, his impact was muted compared to the Sweden game but with McClean running riot in front of him, he didn’t have a whole lot to do in defence either. Seems determined to try and replicate his goal in the Faroes with at least one speculative effort in every game and maybe he’ll get there eventually.

Jonathan Walters 7

Considering his record from the spot this season he showed great mental strength to rattle the penalty home in the manner that he did and then showed great physical strength to hold off his man and head home Whelan’s corner just before half-time. Honest to a fault as always and worked his socks off before tiring late on. One of Ireland’s better performers on the night.

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Glenn Whelan 6

His first act was to pass the ball 20 yards towards the Ireland goal to an Austrian player but he redeemed himself with a lovely delivery for Walters’ goal. Busy as usual and could have done with some help in shoring up a tired midfield at the end.

James McCarthy 6

Was always going to do well to match the highs of Stockholm and with one man less to help him out in midfield he wasn’t able to dictate matters as he did against the Swedes.

Unlucky to get booked because both he and Junuzovic had their studs showing in a first-half challenge but something will have gone disastrously wrong if we notice his absence against the Faroes.

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James McClean 8

A second consecutive excellent performance from McClean, who tormented the Austrian rearguard with a number of purposeful runs and a few brilliant deliveries into the danger area. Certainly wasn’t a guaranteed starter before the double-header but he’ll be hard to shift from the first XI after the last two games.

Conor Sammon 6

The biggest compliment you can pay Sammon is that the howls of derision that had greeted his selection in the starting line-up had quietened significantly after a selfless and admirable display by the Derby man. Saying that, he was visibly tiring late on – understandably so – and should have been replaced by Wes Hoolahan to help ease the pressure in the final stages.

Shane Long 8

All that was missing from Long’s performance was a goal and how unfortunate he was not to get it after his sumptuous back-heel rebounded agonisingly off the post in the first-half.

We don’t know where he gets the energy from but Long simply doesn’t stop running and he must be an absolute nightmare for defenders to play against. Aside from the backheel there was a lovely flick down the line in the first half and he won the penalty too.

Ireland’s best player on the night.

Substitutes:

Sean St. Ledger 5

By the time he replaced the injured Ciaran Clark, Ireland’s backs were very much to the wall and unfortunately for him, it was his leg that Alaba’s shot deflected off and flew into the net beyond a helpless David Forde.

Paul Green Not on long enough to be rated

Manager:

Giovanni Trapattoni 4

You could say that Trap was 30 seconds away from masterminding an important victory but even if Ireland had held out it wouldn’t have justified a tactical approach that had us hanging on for the second half of the second half.

The introduction of Wes Hoolahan would surely have brought some composure to a midfield badly needing it late on and Conor Sammon seemed more in need of a break than Shane Long when Paul Green came on.

Earned something of a reprieve after Stockholm on Friday but the pressure is now firmly back on the Italian with the World Cup campaign potentially at a dead end only four games in.