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Ireland v Bulgaria player ratings: Alan Browne, Alan Judge pick of the Irish as Jack Byrne impresses

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Jack Byrne of Republic of Ireland comes on as a substitute
Jack Byrne of Republic of Ireland comes on as a substitute

Here is how we rated the players from Ireland’s 3-1 win over Bulgaria.


Mark Travers – Got a first cap and the Bournemouth goalkeeper had a decent night after a few early wobbles with clearances. 6

Cyrus Christie – Poor ball control led to the penalty. Cyrus knows that he’ll only play in big games if Seamus Coleman cannot play for some reason. 6

Kevin Long – Sound at the back and he got a goal. But with the visitors playing just one striker, this was an easy as it can be at international level. 7

John Egan – A proud, proud night for the Sheffield United player to captain his country. But that lazy leg, that gave away the penalty, was costly. 7

Conor Hourihane – Case unproven on Hourihane at left-back as the Bulgarians just didn’t come his way. Surely Matt Doherty will play in Tbilisi? 6

Alan Browne – Started and finished the move for the first goal. One of the Irish players who will have caught the manager’s eye. 8

Alan Judge – There were some fine deliveries from ‘Judger’ on the night as he took on the role of Ireland’s playmaker against Bulgaria. 8

Josh Cullen – He has an eye for a pass alright, but is the Charlton player able to control the middle of the pitch against better players? 7

Callum O’Dowda – This was a chance of O’Dowda to push himself back into the first-team reckoning and he will feel he could have done more. Got into some good positions but his crossing could have been better. 6 

Scott Hogan – Gave his all as a lone striker, taking a fair bit of a battering. But the goal he would have wanted would not come. 6

Ronan Curtis – Lively on the left, but not too much end product. Another who didn’t prod McCarthy into picking him long-term. 5


Jack Byrne – A big night for the Hoop, who had one sizzler of a shot on goal. Always wanted the ball, set up the second goal and was instrumental for the third. He will be more than happy with his time on the pitch. 8

James Collins –  Another debutant, and he marked a famous night with a goal. 7

James McClean – Came on with 20 minutes to go to audition for the left-back gig against Georgia. 6

Kieran O’Hara – Got on for a first senior cap for Ireland in the second half. 6

Enda Stevens – Brought on to restore Ireland’s normal left-wing combination. 5

Jeff Hendrick – Brought on to shore up the win in the wake of Long’s goal.


Hristo Ivanov – 6

Georgi Pashov – 6

Anton Nedyalkov – 8

Kristian Dimitrov – 8

Ivan Goronov – 7

Simeon Stavchev – 7

Daniel Mladenov – 6

Georgi Milanov – 6

Krystian Malinov – 7

Nikolay Dimitrov – 7

Bozhidar Kraev – 8

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