THE IRISH PLAYERS have given Giovanni Trapattoni plenty to think about after a number of positive displays in the 1-0 victory over Bosnia.
The old reliables, Richard Dunne, Glenn Whelan and Robbie Keane, were solid while fringe players such as Paul McShane and Darren O’Dea calmed nerves at the back.
Shane Long will be pressing for selection in Poland while Darron Gibson has become a genuine option in the centre of midfield.
Let us know what you think of the player’s performances and if you agree with our ratings.
Keiren Westwood – 7
Pjanic was the only player to really test Westwood and forced the Sunderland man into a diving stop with a dipping free in the second-half.
Paul McShane – 7
No signs of panic from McShane at the back and he was very eager to get forward in the first half, which won Ireland a corner at one stage.
Richard Dunne – 8
Irish supporters will be relieved to have seen Dunne put in an excellent shift for 70 minutes. Blocked two shots and nipped in to cut out a dangerous Dzeko cross.
Darren O’Dea – 7
Less spectacular from O’Dea but he will be happy with his outing. Was a dangerous presence for attacking corners but was pulled out of position late on to allow a Bosnian chance.
Stephen Ward – 6
He was needed to make an important block at the back post as Dzeko threatened to score. Looked to support McClean on the left as much as possible.
Damien Duff – 7
Had an early shout for a penalty and was keen to get into the box. His eagerness almost paid off as Begovic denied him following a fine Keane lay-off.
Damien Duff has a chance near the end of the first-half. (©INPHO/James Crombie)
Darron Gibson – 8
The Everton midfielder controlled the pace of the game well and was composed in possession. His long-range drives wilted in the summer heat but his display will have displayed the Irish management.
Glenn Whelan – 6
Was denied what looked like a certain penalty in the first half but the Stoke midfielder did not complain when play was waved on. Replaced at half-time.
James McClean – 7
Started very well but ran out of steam in the final 20 minutes. Forced a good save from Begovic near the end of the first-half.
Robbie Keane – 6
Fans at the Aviva were worried when Keane shipped an early blow but he recovered well. Fine forward play to hold up the ball in close and set up Duff for a chance.
Kevin Doyle – 7
The performance was typical of Doyle this season – self-sacrifice, willingness to run and clever assists but no goal threat. Passed up an opportunity to shoot to set up McClean on 44 minutes.
Keith Andrews (for Whelan ’45) – 6
Some sloppy passing from the West Brom man when he came on but he picked out McGeady seconds before the Ireland goal.
Aiden McGeady (for Duff ’45) – 8
Man-of-the-match and no complaints from TheScore.ie. McGeady hit a post, set up the goal and teed up his teammates for countless chances.
Walters (for Doyle ’62) – 6
Walters is a great option from the bench and he caused no-end of trouble for the Bosnian defence. Wasteful with the chances that came his way though.
Long (for Keane ’62) – 7
His header was coolly taken as he pulled off his marker at the back post. Was denied a second by a super Begovic save.
St. Ledger (for Dunne ’70) – 6
Was involved in the brain-freeze on 88 minutes that almost led to a Bosnian equaliser but no dramas otherwise.
Kelly (for McShane ’78) – 6
Got up well for a late header from a McGeady corner and was never rushed in possession.