Player Ratings: Boys in Green's bravery shines through as France edge past
Ireland lost out in the second half but they gave Les Blues a fright and a half in Lyon15:55 Sunday 26 June 2016, 15:55 26 Jun 2016
It was the proverbial game of two halves in Lyon.
Ireland harried and hassled France into a 1-0 deficit at half-time but as energy levels dipped and the home nation pushed forward, the Boys in Green lost momentum in the final 45 minutes of their Euro 2016 Round of 16 clash.
It was a whole-hearted display from an Irish side who were facing the early tournament favourites on their own patch.
You can read the match report here
Although the end result was defeat and an exit from Euro 2016, the player ratings take into context that they were up against an opposition who are individually superior yet still gave Les Bleus a fright despite being down a man for the final 24 minutes.
And remember, France had three extra days of rest, heading into this game, and had as powerful midfield as a team has in this competition.
Darren Randolph 8
A calming presence in goal during the first half for the established No 1 as he dealt with almost everything thrown (well, kicked and headed) at him. Made a great save to stop a deflected Blaise Matuidi drive from 25 yards. Almost got his fingers to Antoine Griezmann's headed equaliser on 56 minutes and then made another great save from Andre Pierre Gignac on 76 minutes.
Seamus Coleman 7
He already has the captain's armband and is the long-term leader for this team. Led by example yet again from right-back. Could do little as France found a way of turning the match around.
Richard Keogh 7
Marshalled the defence well yet again for the Irish cause to start with, especially as France pressed hard early in the second half. But he and others couldn't hold out in the final half hour as the French turned the dial up.
Shane Duffy 6
Headed away a ball into Giroud which could have gone anywhere on 11 minutes. Fortunately it deflected wide.
Erred for Griezmann's second goal when he moved across to where Keogh and Olivier Giroud were in an aerial challenge, leaving an ocean of space for Griezmann to run into when the ball landed.
He was sent off on 66 minutes as Ireland were caught on the break, tripping Griezmann for the last-ditch foul just outside the box.
France's N’Golo Kante tackles Jeff Hendrick of Ireland ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Stephen Ward 7
An industrious display from left-back. It was his run on the left that provided the catalyst for the move that resulted in the penalty. Made a great block to stop a Dimitri Payet shot in a goalmouth scramble as Ireland preserved the lead just before half-time. But like the rest of the side, could not maintain the same resilience after the break.
James McCarthy 7
He showed encouraging signs for 45 minutes as the deepest midfielder in the absence of Glenn Whelan last time out against Italy and showed again that sitting alone just in front of the defence is his best role for Ireland. Slightly less effective between half-time and his substitution.
Jeff Hendrick 7
Another energetic display from a player establishing himself as a first choice in the centre of the park for us. Unfortunately suffered with a leg complaint 10 minutes before the break, although he re-emerged and finished the game. A booking shortly after rules him out of the quarter-final.
But after that he worked himself down to the bone despite his own energy levels and composure on the ball dipping like his team-mates around him. The first half knock probably had an effect as the match wore on.
Ireland's Robbie Brady celebrates his goal ©INPHO/James Crombie
Robbie Brady 7
After his heroics in Lille, he showed poise to kiss his 1st minute penalty onto the post and into the net to give Ireland a surprise lead. After that, he played a part in the Irish press and counter-attack pattern from a central area. Was less influential in the second '45 as France upped the ante in midfield.
James McClean 6
A far quieter game on the ball for McClean after his energetic showing against Italy. But stuck to his task with the commitment you come to expect. Had a great chance to square a perfect ball for Murphy on 64 minutes but failed to pull it back adequately. Subbed off with 22 minutes to go.
Daryl Murphy 6
Forced a save from Hugo Lloris on 20 minutes with a snapshot and ran the channels well as a foil for Shane Long.
Shane Long 7
Is there any point repeating the point that Shane Long runs his socks off? He did that, winning the penalty early on when felled by Paul Pogba in the box by getting to the ball first. Didn't really have chances to make a mark in front of goal himself after that unfortunately. Like Murphy, it's a 10/10 for effort.
Jon Walters (for Murphy '66)
Injuries have ruined his tournament but just before France took the lead, he was brought on to provide something different.
John O'Shea (for McClean '68)
Was brought on with Duffy having been sent off with Ireland missing a central defender.
Wes Hoolahan (for McCarthy '71)
Like in the Italy game, he was brought on for the final 20 minutes as Ireland chased a goal.
The very best bits delivered every weekSubscribe now