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Northern Ireland player ratings: Daniel Ballard the pick of the bunch again in UEFA Nations League draw with Romania at Windsor Park

 

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Daniel Ballard delivered another display beyond his years for Northern Ireland.

Daniel Ballard delivered another display beyond his years for Northern Ireland.

David Maginnis Pacemaker Press I

Daniel Ballard delivered another display beyond his years for Northern Ireland.

It was another frustrating night at the office for Northern Ireland in the UEFA Nations League in the 1-1 draw at home to Romania.

While the wait for a win in the competition continues, how did the individual players fare?

Here are our match ratings:

Bailey Peacock-Farrell 7: One low save early one was easily dealt with. Great fingertip save in final quarter, but no chance with Romania goal.

Jonny Evans 8: Hardly gave Romanian striker Denis Alibec a kick. Perfect man to control things in the new-look back three.

Craig Cathcart 7: Kept the door firmly closed at the back with a solid defensive performance and used the ball when we it came to him.

Daniel Ballard 9: Worth remembering that this impressive young lad was winning only his fifth cap. Never looked under pressure.

Stuart Dallas 7: Pinned back in his own half for most of the early stages, but looked dangerous when he got forward as game progressed.

Michael Smith 7: Has moved into a holding midfield role with apparent ease in the last two matches. Superb delivery into the box for the goal.

Paddy McNair 8: Regularly stretched Romania by peeling out to the right. A moment of class with a skilful turn in midfield just before half time.

Ali McCann 7: A great bursting run in the opening minute won a free kick. Great cross later on. Close to scoring a second goal in second half.

Matthew Kennedy 7: Put in a superb cross for Boyce that almost brought about a goal just before half time and another for McCann in second half.

Josh Magennis 7: Dominated in the air against a Romania defence who didn’t seem comfortable in aerial combat.

Liam Boyce 8: Looked threatening before he scored. As Northern Ireland’s only striker with creativity on the ball he needs to play more often.

Subs: Jamal Lewis (Kennedy 66) 6, Conor Washington (Boyce 66) 6, Ethan Galbraith (Smith 79) 6, Conor McLaughlin (Magennis 79) 6.

Belfast Telegraph


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