Georgia vs Republic of Ireland Match updates

Georgia vs Republic of Ireland Match updates

Javier Howell
September 3, 2017

Republic of Ireland failed to keep the pace with leaders Serbia at the top of Group D in World Cup qualifying after drawing 1-1 with Georgia.

It had all started so well for the Republic of Ireland in Tblisi when defender Shane Duffy headed them in front, but Valeri Kazaishvili's equaliser 11 minutes before the break was no more than Georgia deserved, and it was they who looked the more likely winners throughout.

James McClean went close to a second for the visitors when he glanced Walters' cross just past the post five minutes later, but Randolph had to palm away full-back Giorgi Kakabadze's driven cross as Georgia responded.

The Boys in Green defeated Georgia 1-0 the first time the two teams met in Dublin and this should be another three points for Martin O'Neill's team.

"We wanted and needed to get a win but it doesn't change too much for Tuesday because we need to win that game anyway".

Ireland might have retaken the lead had Long managed to make the most of a rare opportunity when he rose unmarked to get his head to Christie's 69th-minute cross, but could only land his effort on the roof of the net.

We scored early on and rather than go for the jugular we just kind of sat back and protected the lead. Each time a Shane Duffy header or a Glenn Whelan hoof was to nobody and each time the home side, roared on by the crowd in the Dinamo Arena, came right back.

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"But we didn't play well enough in the first-half and Georgia were better than us".

Arter said: "I've got a job to do for the team and where we are in the group now, it's not a time for anyone to be learning". "We can use that as a positive for Tuesday that we probably created the better of the chances without playing well".

"Regardless of the result tonight, that game was always going to be critical", Arter said.

Ireland host Group D leaders Serbia on Tuesday knowing that victory would take them top and put them on course for next summer's tournament in Russian Federation.

"We have to obviously play better and give the Serbians less room to play than we gave the Georgians tonight, particularly in the first-half".

However, Georgia were back in the game within three minutes when the excellent Ananidze collected Valerian Gvilia's pass and unpicked the Irish rearguard to slide Valeri Kazaishvili in on goal, and he made no mistake as Randolph advanced in vain. But he has the ability, as he showed three years ago, to get it under control and score.

Ireland didn't fare all that much better in the second half, challenging the Georgian keeper on only a handful of occasions. They are top of the group, a good team with decent players. We need to do better because we are up against a talented side in Serbia on Tuesday.