Match between Georgia and Ireland ends in a draw

Glen Mclaughlin
September 3, 2017

Cyrus Christie lofted a long free-kick deep into the area and the Brighton defender rose highest to beat the flapping goalkeeper and head into the net from ten yards out. Never got on the ball.

James McClean, who saw a late chance saved, admitted it had been a lacklustre Republic of Ireland display.

PUT in the free kick for Shane Duffy's opening goal but had a tough night defensively as Georgia kept attacking down the flanks.

But their advantage would only last half an hour as the hosts pegged them back. "I know that about Georgian players anyway", added the manager. Rarely got forward until the final minutes. Ananidze, for the umpteenth time, was not effectively closed down and this time he threaded a low ball through for Valeri Kazaishvili who finished rather coolly as Randolph came running towards him.

O'Neill spoke beforehand about the need for Ireland to keep possession, but acknowledged afterwards: "We didn't do that well enough".

The second period began as the first ended with the home side playing with goal as Ireland remained clueless and unable to string a reasonable passage of play together.

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Duffy and Clark repeatedly found themselves in the firing line with Ireland too often squandering possession and inviting pressure, although apart from having to beat away Kakabadze's driven 24th-minute cross, goalkeeper Darren Randolph was reasonably well protected. But ensured Ireland kept their shape forcing the home side wide.

Shane Duffy's first senior global goal was enough only to claim a point as the Republic of Ireland rode their luck in Georgia. Republic of Ireland won all the games. We have to be at our best to win the game and we can do that.

McClean had a chance in the 87th minute to seal the victory, thanks to Long's endeavours on the left, but there was to be no repeat of his Vienna heroics as the keeper redeemed himself to a certain degree, getting out quickly to narrow the angle and block the effort.

And then, of course, McGeady had a chance to once again snatch a victory for Ireland but the ball back from Duffy's header was mis-controlled and the chance was gone.

Duffy headed the visitors into a dream fourth-minute lead, but they were unable to capitalise upon it as Georgia hit back in determined fashion. But based on tonight's performance, that particular path could also be in jeopardy. Some of the more intriguing players on The Green Army include Robbie Brady, James McClean, James McCarthy and Shane Long but the absence of Seamus Coleman due to injury is a big blow to the team. Yellow cards: Kvekveskiri (37 mins), Jigauri (62 mins).

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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