Player Ratings: Jeff Hendrick and Wes Hoolahan the chief tormentors as Ireland draw with Sweden

We rank the best performers from this evening's opener in Paris

Robbie Brady

Image: Mike Egerton / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ciaran Clark's second half own-goal pegged Sweden back level as Ireland's Euro 2016 campaign got off to a steady start at the Stade de France.

Jeff Hendrick and John O'Shea came very close in the opening stages, inches from breaking the deadlock as Hendrick rattled the Swedish crossbar.

Hoolahan was alive to the danger as a cross broke to him in the second half and tucked his finish into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Their good work was undone when Zlatan Ibrahimovic forced Ciaran Clark to head into his own net after he committed to a tricky cross with his head instead of his foot. 

Martin O'Neill will be happy enough with the result however, as well as the performance; Ireland were confident in possession and threatened throughout the game, although failed to convert a number of half chances.

We may have the oldest average team in the tournament, but O'Neill's side showed their experience in holding up the ball, drawing fouls and suffocating the threat of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Here's how we thought the lads got on: 

Darren Randolph - 6.5 

After the goal, Randolph was called upon on numerous occasions. Produced two catches in the opening half, one absolutely outstanding to pluck a Swedish cross from the air. Made the save of the game in the second half, his reflexes the only thing that kept Ireland ahead during a period of sustained pressure. Nothing much could be done about the goal, but as the game wore on he became a bit erratic in his decision making and opted to wildly punch at, rather than collect, a number of aerial balls.

Seamus Coleman - 6

Usually one of Ireland's top performers, Coleman looked unusually unsettled this evening. Rarely did he venture forward in the opening half, only putting in one cross. However, he was instrumental in Hoolahan's goal, charging down the right wing and cutting into the box before picking out the former Shels man. Not a particularly bad game, but a victim of his own success in that he set his own standards incredibly high in previous appearances.

John O'Shea - 6

Missed a wonderful opportunity on 17 minutes, but produced another good performance. He was helped by a fairly inactive Ibrahimovic in the first half. Was a threat from set pieces as well, and was a good target for Brady's quality set-piece delivery. 

Ciaran Clark - 6 

Reluctant to take a chance in the opening stages, clearing balls that went his way. Suffocated Zlatan in the second-half when Ireland had to endure a period of sustained pressure, but unfortunately turned the ball into the back of his own net.

Robbie Brady - 7

Ireland's best defender on the pitch. Rampant going forward in the first half, where most of Ireland's chances came from. Good from the dead ball (as usual) and didn't leave too much space in behind when he was attacking. Won a number of corners with forward runs. Had a superb chance on 29 minutes, but it flew just over the bar.

Robbie Brady was a constant menace down the left wing this evening. Image: Mike Egerton / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Glenn Whelan - 6 

Added an extra defensive layer alongside McCarthy. Stayed further back allowing the attack minded fullbacks to get forward. Picked up a yellow, another reliable defensive performance. 

James McCarthy - 5.5

Tried to provide an extra shield to the Irish back four. Not his finest game, picking up a yellow card which could prove costly over the next two games. Didn't show a lack of passion though, wasn't afraid to go in hard on tackles, but his judgement on one or two leaves him on a knife edge going into the games against Belgium and Italy.

Wes Hoolahan - 8 

Ireland's best player on the pitch. The goal was the icing on a brilliant performance, not only did he spray the ball out to the wings well, using the full width of the pitch, but he was happy to take the ball and run at players. His first touch was something to behold. A constant menace. The Irish side realised within the first 20 minutes that the Swedes were there for the taking and Hoolahan came into his own. Showed his experience to draw a foul and ease pressure on Ireland when Sweden were pressing hard. 

Jeff Hendrick - 7

Another fantastic performer. Rattled the crossbar in the opening half, worked well with Brady when he drifted in to midfield. Always looked for possession and worked well with Hoolahan. 

Jeff Hendrick rattles the crossbar in the opening half. Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Jonathan Walters - 6 

Had to feed off very little, and had a half-hearted shout for a penalty in the opening half when he may have been pushed attempting to head the ball. Took a nasty boot to the leg from Kim Kallstrom, but remained strong up front, throwing himself at headers and hassling defenders

Shane Long - 6 

Quiet tonight. More of a target man to hit to relieve a bit of pressure, but took up some good positions in the box and always good to have on the pitch given he only needs a half chance.


James McClean (for Walters '63) - 5

Looked lively, ready to run at defenders. Added pace after the hour mark, when Sweden looked to be pushing up the pitch and exerting themselves that bit more.

Robbie Keane (for Wes Hoolahan '78)

Wasn't on long enough to get an accurate assessment of his performance.

Aiden McGeady (for James McCarthy '85) 

Wasn't on long enough to get an accurate assessment of his performance.