International Friendly Player Ratings: Republic of Ireland 3 - 1 Bulgaria

Tue, Sep 10 2019

Ireland players celebrate Alan Browne's opener. Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

The Republic of Ireland capped off a successful international break with a 3-1 friendly win over Bulgaria, with first Ireland goals from Alan Browne, Kevin Long and James Collins.

Mark Travers: 6

A handy first cap for the former Lucan United and Shamrock Rovers man, whose only real action of the game was to pick the ball out of his own net when he was left with no chance from Ivelin Popov’s emphatic penalty.

Cyrus Christie: 4

Not the Fulham defender’s best outing in a green shirt and showed little to suggest he should challenge Matt Doherty for the back-up right-back slot. Looked uncertain against Daniel Mladenov all night and sloppily gave the ball away the ball for Bulgaria’s penalty.

Kevin Long: 7

Outshone his captain and central defensive partner John Egan, and looked assured with the ball at his feet and in his defensive duties, although Bulgaria offered little threat. Did brilliantly to get back and block a shot from Mladenov just past the half-hour.

John Egan: 6

His one major error of the night gave Bulgaria a spot-kick to draw level, leaving a leg dangling to take down Bozhidor Kraev. Two good blocks in quick succession to deny Mladenov early in the second half.

Conor Hourihane: 6

The only survivor from the draw with Switzerland on Thursday, albeit in an unfamiliar left-back role, and handled himself well before being hooked after the equaliser. Showed for the ball constantly and looked to link up with players inside him but doesn’t offer the width of Enda Stevens.

Josh Cullen: 8

A very impressive debut from the West Ham United midfielder, who probably benefited the most fro a chance to show what he could do in the middle. Calm on the ball and showed what he can do further forward after the break and was unfortunate to see a shot blocked.

Alan Browne: 7

Complimented Cullen nicely in midfield and was happy to sit back and do the dirty work while Culen and Judge, and later Jack Byrne, got forward. Tapped home the opener coolly with his heel after Scott Hogan couldn’t force the ball home.

Alan Judge: 6

Competent performance from the Ipswich Town man, who has earned Mick McCarthy’s trust with impact from the bench in previous games. A decent header from Callum O’Dowda’s cross early on and shot wide shortly after but was deprived of space.

Callum O’Dowda: 6

Did brilliantly to chase down and rob Ivan Goranov on the edge of the area and Hogan should have done better to meet his cross, but otherwise lacked end product. Improved following Jack Byrne’s introduction in the second half before making way for Jeff Hendrick.

Ronan Curtis: 6

The busier of the two wingers in the first half and never gave up running. Had one shot in the first half that swerved away from goal, and great work on half time, first to intercept, then to put in a teasing cross that Hogan almost turned home.

Scott Hogan: 5

A frustrating afternoon for the Stoke City striker, who looks more accustomed to play the target man than looking to run in behind, and was outshone by his replacement James Collins.

Subs:

Jack Byrne (59): 8

Got involved in the right area of the pitch, made angles for passes. His pinpoint corner led to Long’s goal, but his most telling contribution was a beautifully-weighted pass that led to the clincher from Collins.

James Collins (59): 7

Marked his debut with a goal, and it was an impressive finish to nudge the ball home with his toe at full stretch. Put himself about with gusto and it was his pressing that forced Goranov to concede the corner for Long’s goal.

James McClean (68): 6

An energetic performance from the Derryman, who looked to get involved first from left full and then from the wing. A couple of good runs up the side and looked to be on the same wavelength as Byrne.

Kieran O’Hara (75): 6

Not much for the Manchester United loanee to do, although he showed calm in possession under pressure on a couple of occasions.

Enda Stevens (75): 7

Not long for the Sheffield United man to impress but he made several good bursts into the box and was rewarded with the assist for the third.

Jeff Hendrick (84): 6

Busy in his six minutes on the field but might have shown a bit more quality when played in on the right by Byrne.