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12th Jun 2013

Ireland v Spain Player Ratings


If you slept through Ireland’s 2-0 defeat to Spain in New York overnight, here’s how we rated the Boys in Green.

David Forde 6

Spain were never going to pepper the goal with high balls so it was his shot stopping ability that was required tonight. The Millwall man was more than up to it for the first hour, especially as it took Spain 30 minutes to get an effort on target. One fantastic save from Villa approaching half-time was his best work and Soldado’s goal gave him no chance. Did spill one low cross but his defence bailed him out.

Paul McShane 6

A tough task for the Hull man tonight as Pedro and Alba made regular forays down his flank. With lots of help from Seamus Coleman, he helped keep the Spanish at bay for 70 minutes but visibly tired as the game wore on and mistakes crept into his game.

Sean St. Ledger 7

Bamboozled by Villa for the effort that Forde saved but he put in a mighty shift in Yankee Stadium tonight. Worked his socks off and made a fair few blocks at vital times but couldn’t get a tired limb out in time to block Soldado’s goal and he hadn’t the concentration, or the legs, to keep with Juan Mata for the Spanish second near the death.

Darren O’Dea 6

Another who worked so hard and made a goal-saving lunge or two. Some of his passing was a bit ropey but did the dirty work well. Understandably lost his sharpness as the Spanish onslaught wore on and was left flat footed for the killer second goal.

Stephen Kelly 5

Only once in the entire game did he make a burst forward into the Spanish half. Like the other Irish full back he was helped out a lot by his midfield colleague, in his case Andy Keogh, helping Ireland keep it tight. He did play a few loose passes when we were desperate for possession and the introduction of Jesus Navas gave him a few problems in the second half.

Jeff Hendrick 5

Hard to recall the Derby man getting on the ball much in the first 45. That said, he hassled and harried the likes of Xavi and Iniesta endlessly during his time on the pitch. Disciplined but got the hook from Trap at the break for Stephen Quinn.

James McCarthy 6

Like Hendrick, he ran and ran and used his physical presence to win the ball back once or twice. His passing, though, was not as sharp or incisive as we have seen before. That may be down to the quality of the opposition and the shift he had to put in. Slightly disappointing, even though he was outnumbered in the middle.

Seamus Coleman 6

Tempted to give him a perfect 10 for his bit of wing wizardry that left Alba baffled in the first half. That was pretty much the sum total of the Everton man’s work in the danger zone, though, as he spent the game helping out Paul McShane in defence. Trojan work throughout and his energy levels are off the charts.

Andy Keogh 7

Another who was shackled to defensive duties in what was effectively an Irish back six. Won some tackles well, conceded a few fouls and delivered at least one half chance via a corner for St Ledger. A slightly mixed bag but one of his best games for Ireland as he proved his worth as a destructive force.

Robbie Keane 6

Didn’t last the hour and never had a sniff of goal number 60. That was due to the fact that he spent most of the game in the centre of midfield stemming the red tide. Not a game that the goalscoring legend is likely to remember.

Connor Sammon 7

With a good touch for a big man Sammon showed his nice touches against the Faroes were no fluke. Nutmegged Alba at one stage and held up or laid off the limited ball he saw very well. Created Ireland’s best chance of the first half with his physicality but he looked less than assured when one-on-one with Valdes and fluffed the opportunity. Linked up well with his team-mates when he had the chance and ran himself into the ground.


Stephen Quinn 7

On for Hendrick he saw more of the ball than the man he replaced but with only Sammon to aim for there was little he could do with it in the forward third. Very tidy on the ball and hard to recall him coughing up possession. Priceless skills against a side like Spain and a showed enough to be a viable option in the Irish midfield in the future.

Simon Cox 5

Slotted into the Robbie role and he too spent his time in midfield trying to stymie the zippy passes of the world champs. Busy.

James McClean 5

Brought some attacking intent to the team during his 17-minute cameo and forced a great save from Iker Casillas with a left-foot rasper.

Darren Randolph 6

Out quick to prevent Soldado getting his second and made a cracking diving save from Cazorla in the closing stages. The brilliant second Spanish goal just slipped past him.

David Meyler and Damien Delaney not on long enough to rate.

Manager 6

We could give out about playing 4-4-2 but what’s the point at this stage. With limited options the team Trap put out almost picked itself and at the end of a set of games that saw some players finally prove to the manager that they are indispensible (McCarthy, Forde, Coleman), tonight verified that at last the side may be moving in the right direction. A huge improvement on the Euro 2012 game between the sides and the positives send us off to bed in a decent mood, despite the defeat.