Ireland V Bulgaria player: How the team fared

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Mark Travers 6.

An international debut for the Bournemouth goalkeeper. But he had very little to do during the 76 minutes he was on the pitch. Easily dealt with Dimitrov’s eighth minute header off a corner. Not chance from Popov’s penalty.

Cyrus Christie 5.

The Fulham defender started at right back in the absence of captain Seamus Coleman. But didn’t make the most of the opportunity. Was too casual when losing possession in the box to Goranov which led to the Bulgaria penalty.

John Egan 7.

The Sheffield United defender was handed the captains armband on his fifth cap for his country. Did well for the most part. Conceded the penalty when fouling Kraev. But almost scored with a 90th minute header off Jack Byrne’s corner.

Kevin Long 7.

The Burnley defender registered his first international goal on his 12th cap when heading in Jack Byrne’s 82nd minute corner. Looked solid throughout. Will be be an able replacement if required to fill in for Shane Duffy or Richard Keogh.

Conor Hourihane 6.

The only survivor from the team that drew 1-1 with Switzerland. With Enda Stevens suspended for the Georgia match, the Aston Villa man started at left-back as Mick McCarthy looks to fill that void. Linked well at times with Ronan Curtis. Taken off with 21 minutes to go.

Alan Browne 7.

The Preston playmaker was deployed in front of the back four – but got forward to help the attack. That was shown by his first international goal when breaking the dead lock on 55 minutes on his eight appearance for his country. Will have given Mick McCarthy some thought about the midfield in the future.

Alan Judge 6.

After several substitute cameo’s off the bench, the Ipswich Town man was given the free role in the three-man midfield. Headed over early on followed by a deflected shot easily gathered by Hristo Ivanov. Replaced on the hour mark.

Josh Cullen 8.

The Charlton player was handed his debut in Green in the middle of the park. And made the most of his chance as Ireland’s best player. Was busy and never shied away from wanting the ball. Tried to link play, both to the wings and the front three. Good cover to get back and block off Daniel Mladenov on 33 minutes.

Callum O’Dowda 5.

Played on the right of the front three. Stayed wide with allowed Christie to join the attack. But the Bristol City flank man never got involved aft6er that. And drifted out of the game before being subbed off late on.

Scott Hogan 6.

With Swiss goal hero David McGoldrick and his Sheffield United team-mate Callum Robinson ruled out, it was a chance for Hogan to shine. Got very little service in the first period bar a header over off a Hourihane free kick. Almost got on the end of Curtis’ cross on the stroke of half time. But provided the assist for Browne’s goal.

Ronan Curtis 6.

The Portsmouth’s attacker was used as the left-side attacker. Kept cutting inside to try and allow Hourihane to exploit the width. That ploy worked for the opening goal when the former Derry man’s shot wasn’t gathered by Hristo Ivanov.


Jack Byrne 8 (for Judge 59).

A brilliant debut for the Shamrock Rovers midfielder. Made history by becoming the 500th Senior international cap. Set-up Long’s goal. Then provided the pass for Enda Stevens to set-up James Collins to make it 3-1.

Collins 7 (for Hogan 60)

Another to make his Irish debut. A booking on 84 followed by a goal two minutes later saw the Luton Town striker make his mark.

James McClean 6 (for Hourihane 69).

Another candidate for the left-back berth against Georgia. Then pressed up the flank when Enda Stevens came on.

Kieran O’Hara 6 (for Travers 76).

The on loan to Burton Albion netminder from Manchester United became the fifth player to debut on the night when coming on for the last quarter of an hour.

Enda Stevens 6 (for O’Dowda 76).

A short run-out for the Sheffield United left-back who’ll miss the trip to Tbilisi next month against Georgia through suspension. Provided the assist for Collin’s third goal.

Jeff Hendrick (for Curtis 84).

Little time to make an impact.


Hristo Ivanov, Goranov, Nedyalkov (Bozihikov 59), Kristian Dimitrov (Panayotovat 80), Pashov, Slavchev, Daniel Mladenov (Despodovat 68), Milanov (Popov half time), Malinov (Terzievat 81), Nikolay Dimitrov (Wandererson 59), Kraev.

Referee: Tobias Welz (Germany).

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