Player Ratings: James McClean leads the way as Ireland secure vital win in Austria

A 1-0 win in Vienna puts Ireland top of the group

Ireland, James McClean, Robbie Brady, Jon Walters

Ireland's James McClean celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game with Jon Walters and Robbie Brady ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

It was a Viennese waltz of a goal on the counter-attack that did it as Ireland won 1-0 against Austria in a crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier.

After a cagey first half with few standout performances from either set of players, Ireland had a good spell just after half-time which led to James McClean's goal - his third in his last two internationals - to take control on the scoreboard. 

Darren Randolph 7

Did not have a huge amount to do in the cagey first half and dealt with everything that came his way.

Seamus Coleman 7

The captain made a wonderful recovery tackle on danger man Marko Arnautovic on 32 minutes in his own box. 

Shane Duffy 7

After a couple of errors in recent games, he put in a much-improved display at the back. 

Ciaran Clark 7

Dealt with most of what Austria had to offer in attack. 

Robbie Brady 6

Has often played in midfield in recent matches but was back at left-back again and coped well in the first half. Also had responsibility for set pieces as has become established. 

Put in a great ball for Jon Walters from the left side but unfortunately the striker could not keep his shot down with the goal gaping on 42 minutes.

Got needlessly booked on 71 minutes which rules him out of the game against Wales.

Glenn Whelan 5

Unfortunately his night ended early after just 22 minutes of play due to injury. Had been solid before having to depart.

Jeff Hendrick 7

A quiet night in midfield for the Burnley on his return to the side during the first half but was strong in the second as Ireland showed grit and determination.


©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Harry Arter 7

Not an easy night for him in the first half. But put in a good shift throughout in a busy second half showing in the engine room.

James McClean 8

Had a crack at goal that deflected wide on 12 minutes after a cagey opening to the match.

But made no mistake just after half-time when he collected Wes Hoolahan's through ball on the run and gave Ireland the lead from an angle. 

Showed a wonderful bit of skill on the counter on 79 minutes when he flicked the ball over a defender and embarked on an enterprising run down the left which unfortunately did not result in a clear-cut chance.

Wes Hoolahan 7

Did not get into the game in the first half. But showed the playmaking qualities that make him a popular choice in midfield with a wonderful through ball to set up McClean's goal.

Was subbed off for the final 20 minutes.

Ireland's James McClean celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game with Jon Walters and Robbie Brady ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Jonathan Walters 7

Had a tough task leading the line on his own but showed the requisite work-rate we have come to expect. 

Missed a gilt-edged chance just before the break when he failed to keep an inch-perfect cross from Robbie Brady below the crossbar from close range.

Had a headed goal correctly ruled out for offside shortly after Ireland took the lead.


David Meyler 7

Replaced Whelan on 23 minutes and performed well in his brief.

David McGoldrick 

Came on for Hoolahan on 77 minutes. 

Aiden McGeady

The winger came on for the final five minutes.