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Ireland player ratings: Kelleher and O’Brien the only positives on a night to forget for the Boys In Green



Saved Ireland in the first half and was left exposed by his defence for Portugal’s first goal, there was little he could do about the goals that came after that, two saves in the final phase of the game meant Ireland kept the score down.

Liam Scales – 5

He said before the game that he wanted a photo opportunity with Cristiano Ronaldo but the Portugal captain gave Celtic man Scales a very harsh lesson in the realities of top-class international football. He struggled with his positional awareness and hopefully he can learn from this.

Dara O’Shea – 6

The most experienced of the Irish central defence, O’Shea lacked the composure and leadership that was needed as that brilliant Portugal side mounted attack after attack. Was badly exposed for Portugal’s second goal.

Jake O’Brien – 7

While this was his first international start, O’Brien was possibly the most impressive of the hard-worked Irish defenders. Did his best to track Ronaldo when he made those ghost-like moves and was not in any way overawed by the occasion.

Seamus Coleman – 6

Was given a very testing first 45 minutes by the brilliance of Rafael Leao and was beaten for pace more than once by the sublime AC Milan wide player, but he stuck to his task in that gruelling second half before being replaced by Matt Doherty.

Josh Cullen – 5

The opening 20 minutes hinted that he could stand up to the challenge in midfield and he always had an eye for a pass but the sheer class of his immediate opponents like Bruno Fernandes won out and Cullen really found it hard to make any impact.

Will Smallbone – 6

He has come away from the June window with his reputation enhanced. Did have some good moments and the precision of his pass was key in Ireland’s best chance in the first half for Idah but Cullen and Smallbone were just outclassed in central midfield.

Robbie Brady – 5

Not the finest night of his 64-cap career. Was sloppy in possession too often and was fortunate not to concede a penalty for barging into Ronaldo in the first half.

Sammie Szmodics – 5

Was hit with a heavy challenge from Pepe early on and that seemed to take the wind out of his sails as he rarely looked comfortable.

Troy Parrott – 5

He really wanted to make an impact similar to the one he had in the win over Hungary but Parrott struggled with the pace of the game, was outfoxed by his marker each time and barely left his mark on the game.

Adam Idah – 6

He will learn a lot from his battles with that tough Portugal defence, Pepe in particular. He did come up with Ireland’s best chance when he hit the side netting in the first half but losing possession helped Portugal get their second goal.


Tom Cannon – 6

Did well to react to a breaking ball to carve out a rare Irish chance.

Callum O’Dowda – 5

His pace was needed to counter the threats from Portugal but was caught napping for Portugal’s third goal.

Mikey Johnston – 4

Returning to Portugal was not a happy ending for the wide player who barely saw any of the ball.

Matt Doherty – 6

Experience was key when he came on for a tired Coleman.

Jason Knight – 5

Was left chasing shadows when he came on and made no real impact.

Mark Sykes – 6

Mere game time was important for the Belfast lad.

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