Written by David Robinson
Northern Ireland have exited Euro 2016 following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Home Nation rivals Wales. A cagey game as predicted was separated by a Gareth McAuley own goal in the second half following a Gareth Bale cross. Northern Ireland put in work man like shift in what was a tight and largely even game. I rate the players individual performances following what can be described as a harsh defeat.
Michael McGovern – 6/10
Rarely tested, McGovern made a smart stop from a Bale free kick where goalkeepers have previously failed in this tournament. The Goalkeeper executed all of this simple tasks with ease but had a dodgy moment coming for the ball late on.
Aaron Hughes – 6/10
Was part of a side that was first and foremost resolute. He provided a solid base down the right hand side and made it difficult for Wales to exploit the flanks. Like his team mates, he was limited in possession.
Craig Cathcart – 5/10
A uneasy performance, the Watford centre back switched off to allow Vokes a good chance in the first half, he made some good interceptions but overall he didn’t put in a commanding display.
Gareth McAuley – 6/10
Was the unfortunate scorer of the decisive own goal in which he shouldn’t be criticised for. The West Brom defender before hand was a steady influence at the back cutting out the Welsh attacks but really he wasn’t overly tested.
Jonny Evans – 8/10
Northern Ireland’s best performer, Evans used of all of his experience to effect and was a composed player in the game. He made plenty of good decisions and was able to pick the ball out from the back well. His reading of the game and execution in the tackle was superb.
Stuart Dallas – 6/10
The winger failed to really penetrate the Wales back line but showed some rare touches that helped out his country going forwards. Defensively he helped put in a good shift but the final ball was not what Northern Ireland needed to really give their opposition something to panic about.
Corry Evans – 7/10
Grafted well in a similar fashion to his brother Jonny. He hassled and made life difficult for Wales which contributed to a scrappy affair. Again he didn’t offer much creativity but that was not his role so a good performance from Evans.
Steven Davis – 6/10
A solid display but you felt Davis needed to give more for Northern Ireland to really go on and win the game. He is their brightest spark in possession but his game was left a simple one and while he didn’t make many mistakes, he didn’t offer a huge threat to the Wales back line.
Oliver Norwood – 5/10
Another player who can be a potential match winner particularly from a set piece, Norwood offered little in terms of breaking the Wales back line. Another player with enthusiasm and energy in the middle of the park but not enough genuine quality this time.
Jamie Ward – 6/10
Probably a typical Jamie Ward performance. Plenty of energy and hassling giving defences little time to breathe but really once again, he never truly looked like hurting the opposition. However he didn’t have an awful lot of involvement in the game so he didn’t do too much wrong.
Kyle Lafferty – 6/10
Put a real shift in for his team but another player that never looked like threatening. He was willing to try to run past his man which didn’t come off but a lack of service could also excuse his lack of cutting edge which is what counts for the lone striker.
Do you agree with these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Nazionale Calcio