Rep of Ireland 3 Latvia 0: Player ratings

Rep of Ireland 3 Latvia 0: Player ratings as goals from Robbie Keane, Aiden McGeady and Shane Long seal victory

By Sean Kearns
Rep of Ireland
3
Latvia
0

Republic of Ireland

Keiren Westwood A quiet 90 minutes for the Sunderland number one. He was rarely called into action but had to stay alert when Fertovs tested him early in the second-half. 6/10

Seamus Coleman The Toffees full-back has gone from strength-to-strength in the last couple of years. He impressed again tonight, mainly down to the fact that his attacking game was allowed to flourish against poor opponents. Provided a constant out-ball for the central midfield and set-up Long’s goal. 7

John O’Shea He’s been a great servant for the Republic and this was one of the easier nights that the Sunderland man has faced in his international career. Had a worrying moment in the first-half when other referees may have perhaps penalised him for handball. A solid, if unspectacular, performance. 6

Marc Wilson Like the rest of the defence, he had very little to deal with. Nevertheless, what he did have to, he dealt with well. With an aging central defence and new management, Wilson will be hoping to cement his place in the Ireland defence. Performances like this won’t hurt that claim. 6

Stephen Ward He hasn’t always been a favourite among Republic fans, but this was a confident performance from Ward. It was the Brighton full-back’s first outing for his country in over 12 months since a friendly defeat against Greece and he looked determined to make the most of it. 7

Aiden McGeady Under Giovanni Trapattoni, McGeady often looked out of place. The Italian favoured industry and suppressed flair, which showed tonight when the shackles were off the winger and he was allowed to float around the pitch. So often Ireland’s brightest spark, he again provided the hosts with attacking intent. Assisted the first goal and scored the second. 9

Glenn Whelan A mainstay under the previous management, Whelan’s place again looks assured under O’Neill. The Stoke midfielder is unglamorous but when partnered with a ball-playing midfield, his weaknesses are not as highlighted. Allowed McCarthy to get forward and provided good cover for the defence. 6

James McCarthy (Man of the match) The former Wigan man has taken great strides this season. Trapattoni felt McCarthy, though extremely talented, lacked the confidence to exert his ability. He has a point, but McCarthy is showing signs that he’s taken it upon himself to assume responsibility in the Ireland midfield. Good performance. 8

James McClean His strong start at Sunderland caught many by surprise and he became Ireland’s wildcard. However, his form has dipped as defenders worked out his game. Though he always brings enthusiasm and industry aplenty, he produced far more quality than he has in recent performances. Like a handful of others in the Ireland side, the new management looks to have reinvigorated McClean. 7

Wes Hoolahan The clamour for Hoolahan’s selection has been gathering for a couple of years now. Neglected by the previous management, the attacking midfielder has impressed at Norwich. However, he didn’t do his supporters any favours with an average performance. He found himself in good positions but chose the wrong option too often. Struggled to build a relationship with Keane, who was forced to come deep to pick up the ball and do Hoolahan’s job. 5

Robbie Keane The former Tottenham Hotspur man scored his 62nd goal tonight in 130 appearances. Where would his country be without him? 8

Substitutes

Andy Reid Reinstated into the Ireland set-up, the Nottingham Forest midfielder looked determined to leave his mark. Came close with a fierce left-footed shot. 6

Shane Long Unlucky not to start the match. Scored a late goal after great build up from Coleman. 7

Anthony Stokes Not trusted at international level despite decent form at club level with Celtic. Will be hoping for more opportunities under O’Neill. 6

Jonathan Walters Provided his usual industry during the last 20 minutes but wasn’t on long enough to truly affect proceedings. 6

Paul Green A late replacement for Whelan but barely time to make an impression. 5

Latvia

Andris Vanins Booked for a silly handball in the first half and he could have so easily been sent off. Endured a busy first half. 5

Vitalijs Maksimenko Struggled to contain Irish pressure in the first-half. Didn’t look like he knew whether to follow or leave Keane when he was dropping deep to collect the ball. 6

Renars Rode Was fairly solid throughout but struggled up against McGeady’s trickery. Has his goalkeeper to thank for stopping him from putting one in his own net in the second-half. 6

Vladislavs Gabovs Like his team-mates, endured a torrid first-half. Though the Latvians conceded two in the second, they actually defended far better, Gabovs included. 5

Kaspar Gorkss Forced to make several last-ditch tackles in a difficult first 20 minutes for the Latvians. Showed his experience throughout by directing his team-mates. Only Latvian defender that looked comfortable in possession. 6

Nauris Bulvitis Struggled up against Keane’s movement and resorted to petulant fouls to stop the forward. Improved in the second. 5

Juris Laizans A very poor first half that he somewhat made up for in the second when he decided to track McCarthy. 5

Ritvars Rugins Replaced after just 25 minutes. Latvia boss Marian Pahars was clearly upset with the midfielders work-rate. 4

Artis Lazdins Looked frustrated to be defending so often. Couldn’t get to grips with Hoolahan and gave away numerous free-kicks. 4

Maris Verpakovskis The veteran has played over 100 times for his country but failed to receive possession in positions where he could hurt the Ireland defence. Had O’Shea scrambling in a rare first-half opening. Replaced at half-time. 5

Valerijs Sabala The nation has high hopes for the youngster and he looked to be enjoying the big stage. Starved of service but was a bright spark in a conservative performance. Linked well with the midfield. 6

Substitutes

Alexsandrs Fertovs Replaced Rugins with just 26 minutes gone. Came close with a shot from 30-yards out shortly after half-time and provided better energy than his predecessor. 6

Daniils Turkov Replaced Sabala with 30 mins remaining but joined a sinking ship in truth. Failed to impress. 5

Eduards Visnakovs Came on at half-time for Verpakovskis and certainly provided greater purpose. Linked well with Fertovs. 7

Alan Sinelnikovs Given a 20 run-out towards the end but his team-mates, as well as deflated, had tired by this point. Little he could do to influence the game. 5

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