James McClean sealed the win for Ireland after his introduction after the break.

Republic of Ireland player ratings vs Uruguay
Published: June 04, 2017

Darren Randolph: 5

 

Generally assured performance from the West Ham netminder, who has had little gametime in the final weeks of the English season after being dropped, and he showed signs of rustiness when he came from a ball he was never going to get and was beaten by José Giménez for Uruguay's equaliser.

 

Cyrus Christie: 7

 

The Derby County defender took some flak for an interview during the week in which he describe himself as the English Championship's best full-back, but he backed up his words with a fine performance in attack and defence, capped off with a well-taken finish to make it 2-1.

 

Shane Duffy: 6

 

The Brighton & Hove Albion defender is another who is short on gametime after missing the final couple of months of the season with injury and has been handed starts in both friendlies in order to regain sharpness ahead of the Austria. Wasn't troubled unduly during the game but was beaten to the header by Giménez as Uruguay drew level.

 

Kevin Long: 7

 

The Burnley defender has had a striking rise in the past month as he made his first Premier League starts, and he didn't put a foot wrong on his first international start as he and Duffy denied Uruguay's talented strikers time and space around the box. His name could be a surprise addition to the teamsheet next Sunday.

 

Stephen Ward: 7

 

Long's Burnley teammate has made the left-back berth his own with a string of fine performances over the past two years and he showed he's in the right frame of mind for next Sunday with a confident performance in attack and defence.

 

Glenn Whelan: 7

 

The Stoke City man only managed 45 minutes but he played a key role in Jonathan Walters' first-half goal as he teed the striker up for an excellent finish and generally linked well with Harry Arter at the base of the Ireland midfield.

 

Jeff Hendrick: 6

 

Picked up the dubious honour of a yellow card in a friendly before being substituted after taking a heavy knock and was the least concpicuous of Ireland's midfield as he battled against Uruguay's hardened defensive mids.

 

Harry Arter: 7

 

Ireland are a different team with Arter in the side as he constantly showed for the ball in both halves of the pitch and it was no coincidence that Ireland best play came when both he and Hoolahan were on the park, a combination that should be reprised next week.

 

Robbie Brady: 6

 

The Burnley man has struggled to get consistent starts since joining the Premier League club in January but he showed his class all over the park tonight, while his set-pieces were strong. Interestingly stationed out on the right, where his ability to cut in on his left foot gives Ireland an added threat.

 

Jonny Hayes: 6

 

The reported Celtic target has just finished his best season in Scottish football after scoring in the Cup final for Aberdeen and he showed that confidence with a battling performance wide on the left, while his willingness to run inside to support Walters in attack gave Uruguay's defenders plenty to think about.

 

Jon Walters: 8

 

The Stoke City striker is likely to start next Sunday with Shane Long injured and he showed what he can do when stationed as a lone striker. Walters will never be able to replicate Long's ability to run into the corners and occupy defences with pace, but his link-up play was superb when supported by his wingers and Ireland posed a great threat than they do with two up top.

 

Subs:

 

Wes Hoolahan: 7

 

The Norwich City man keeps getting better with age and he had a role in both goals after being introduced for Glenn Whelan at the break, dovetailing well with Harry Arter in a midfield that never failed to show for the ball.

 

Keiren Westwood: 6

 

Had one hairy moment early in the second half as he let a shot from distance bounce off his knee rather than take it in the breadbasket, but his save from Giménez with the scores at 2-1 will stick in Martin O'Neill's mind ahead of Sunday's game with Austria.

 

James McClean: 7

 

Didn't have the most memorable of games as captain in his 50th appearance in New Jersey on Thursday evening but made appearance #51 one to remember with a fine finish to make it 3-1 as he used his pace to outflank the defender before smashing the ball into the corner in an echo of his winner in Austria last year.

 

Alex Pearce: 5

 

Had little to do in his half-hour on the pitch as Uruguay offered little in attack, which may work against him when the time comes to select the team next Sunday.

 

Daryl Murphy: 6

 

The pace of the game declined in the final half-hour before the Newcastle United man is the best target-man available to Martin O'Neill and his presence in the centre allowed McClean to make hay with two surging runs after his introduction.

 

Aiden McGeady: 5

 

The Everton man got a good half-hour on the pitch to show what he could do and used the ball well but didn't show enough attacking threat to force his way into the reckoning for Austria.


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