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Ireland Player Ratings As Portugal Romp To Win On Dour Night In Aveiro | Balls.ie

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Portugal 3-0 Ireland

It was a tough night for John O’Shea’s Ireland, as Portugal demonstrated why they are one of the favourites for the EUROs with a ruthless display on Tuesday evening.

Off the back of last week’s solid home win over Hungary, Ireland were hoping to build on that encouraging performance by pushing the hosts hard in Aveiro.

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Of course, there would not have been any expectation of getting a result away from home against one of Europe’s leading sides but Ireland would at least have hoped to test Portugal to round off a challenging season on a positive note.

In reality, O’Shea’s side were regrettably well off it on a night when several players were almost anonymous.

The interim boss made three changes from the side which beat Hungary, with Jake O’Brien making a first start for his country in defence. Liam Scales and Troy Parrott also came into the side, with Shane Duffy, Matt Doherty, and Finn Azaz dropping out.

Ireland’s first concession of the night was a sloppy one, with Joao Félix left wide open in the box from a quick corner to slot home.

Just as he did in Faro almost three years ago, Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up against Ireland in what could prove to be his final game on Portuguese soil.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner scored twice in the second half to compound Ireland’s misery and drive home the gulf in class between the two sides.

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Portugal v Ireland: Player ratings

Caoimhín Kelleher – 6.5

Came out well early on to stifle Portugal’s first break. Made a great save from Bruno Fernandes in the early stages, though his defence let him down by allowing Felix to roam free from the resultant corner.

Couldn’t have done much more for either of Ronaldo’s second half goals. Portugal could have had a few more had it not been for Kelleher’s strong interventions.

 

Seamus Coleman – 4.5

Drew a foul well from Rafael Leao early on, though the AC Milan man fairly had his number for the remainder of the first half. Off balance when he had a decent chance in the box late in the opening period.

An incredibly consistent performer at international level, this was a rare off night for Coleman against one of Europe’s best attacks.

 

Dara O’Shea – 5

Under the cosh as were all of his defensive partners and looked bewildered in the face of great pressure from the Portuguese side. Found the odd decent pass through the lines.

 

Jake O’Brien – 6

Jake O'Brien Ronaldo Ireland v Portugal

11 June 2024; Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal in action against Jake O’Brien of Republic of Ireland during the international friendly match between Portugal and Republic of Ireland at Estádio Municipal de Aveiro in Aveiro, Portugal. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The best outfield Irish player in the first half, he was excellent in his physical altercations with Ronaldo and Joao Cancelo in the opening stages.

Made a brilliant intervention in the six-yard box to prevent a tap-in for Ronaldo when Fernandes pulled back early on.

Caught napping and almost conceded a penalty after half-time, though VAR correctly exonerated him for his clash with Diogo Jota.

The calmest presence in the Irish defence on his first start for his country, O’Brien’s positioning and composure were strong in the first half, though he visibly tired after the break.

 

Liam Scales – 4.5

Made a decent block on Joao Felix’s early shot, though he appeared somewhat lost and struggled to find the right passes under pressure at points. Looked dazed at points.

 

Robbie Brady – 4

The most energetic Irish player in the first few minutes, though his performance level dipped as the first half went on.

Dalot drew the first Irish foul of the night from Brady, before the veteran’s positioning was found wanting on numerous occasions by the right-hand flank of Portugal’s attack.

Robbie Brady Ireland Portugal

11 June 2024; Diogo Dalot of Portugal is tackled by Robbie Brady of Republic of Ireland during the international friendly match between Portugal and Republic of Ireland at Estádio Municipal de Aveiro in Aveiro, Portugal. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Lucky not to give away a penalty for a clumsy challenge on Ronaldo just before the break. Withdrawn shortly after half-time.

 

Josh Cullen – 5

Slow to come out and close down Fernandes for the quick corner which led to Félix’s goal. Looked lost in a shortchanged Irish midfield during the first half.

 

Will Smallbone – 5

The best Irish player for breaking up the play in the middle of the park in the first half, though he was similarly limited by the narrow midfield setup.

Involved in Ireland’s best break of the opening period but struggled to find too much time on the ball. He was also involved in a clumsy mix-up with Coleman in the lead-up to Ronaldo’s second.

 

Sammie Szmodics – 4

Sammie Szmodics

11 June 2024; Sammie Szmodics of Republic of Ireland reacts after picking up an injury during the international friendly match between Portugal and Republic of Ireland at Estádio Municipal de Aveiro in Aveiro, Portugal. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Needed treatment in the opening moments after a clash with Diogo Dalot and looked off it for most of the first half.

One of the most exciting players in this Irish squad but tonight was not his best night. He was at fault for the Portuguese opener, leaving Félix completely free in the area.

Seemed unable to get the ball out of his feet or find the right passes throughout the opening period.

 

Adam Idah – 5

Industrious in closing down the Portuguese defence but got next to no joy with it. His decision making was found wanting on the rare occasions that he did get on the ball, though he did show the most energy and invention of any Irish attacking player.

Taken off shortly after half-time.

 

Troy Parrott – 4

Near-anonymous in the first half. Could have been in had Szmodics spotted him charging down the right in the 32nd minute.

Taken off just after the break

 

Substitutes

Tom Cannon (for Troy Parrott, 53′) – 5

Came close to scoring a debut goal after a good run in behind just after the hour mark.

Tom Cannon

11 June 2024; Tom Cannon of Republic of Ireland has a shot on goal during the international friendly match between Portugal and Republic of Ireland at Estádio Municipal de Aveiro in Aveiro, Portugal. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

 

Mikey Johnston (for Adam Idah, 53′) – 5

Injected a bit of pace and energy down the left after coming on, but Semedo had him under control.

 

Callum O’Dowda (for Robbie Brady, 53′) – 4.5

Went almost unnoticed after coming on.

 

Matt Doherty (for Seamus Coleman, 70′) – 5

Did little of note in his 20 minutes on the pitch, though perhaps was a bit more assured down the right flank than Coleman had been hitherto.

 

Jason Knight (for Sammie Szmodics, 70′) – 5

The Portuguese threat was slowly fading by the time Night came on, and the energy fading from the game meant it was hard to read much into his performance.

 

Mark Sykes (for Will Smallbone, 83′) – n/a

Not on long enough to rate

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