Georgia vs Republic of Ireland World Cup Qualifying UEFA

by Olga Hunt September 3, 2017, 16:04
Georgia vs Republic of Ireland World Cup Qualifying UEFA

Nika Kvekveskiri sent in a low driven shot that worked Randolph, and a rasping cross from Kakabadze should have been turned in by Kvivitaia in the box in the 20 minute, though Ireland did go close moments later through a James McClean break.

Ireland led after four minutes as the home side's protests over a stray elbow from Ciaran Clark catching Makaridze fell on deaf ears.

"Even if we'd won here, they still would have been top of the group with goal difference and it would have been as critical a game if we'd had won here".

O'Neill went on the defensive in an interview with RTE Sport, and attempted to take the pressure off his players ahead of Tuesday's game by describing Serbia as "technically better" than Ireland.

"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".

Although Ireland had chances to snatch victory, O'Neill told Sky Sports: We didn't play well enough in the first half and Georgia were better than us.

Largely bereft of cohesion or invention for long periods, they sat back after Shane Duffy's early goal - allowing their opponents to rack up a whopping 74% possession. "This is a genuinely hard game for us", O'Neill said.

"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".

"It's still in our hands - if we win three out of three games now, we'll qualify".

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"They're a good side and we knew they were good at keeping the ball".

Seven-cap Arter, replaced by Aiden McGeady after 62 minutes, is not shy about saying that global football is still a learning curve.

"It was a different environment and one that I've got to try get to grips with better than I did tonight", he added.

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.

A free-kick ended up with Aiden McGeady ten yards out, but the Sunderland winger got his feet under the ball and blazed it over in the third minute of injury time.

The aimless play from Ireland continued in the second half, saved from further punishment from a tiring Georgian side, the two full backs aside.

"It's a pity that we had some individual mistakes, especially the goal we conceded, but football without mistakes just does not happen and I am very happy with the way that my team played overall, with their effort". They are top of the group, a good team with decent players.

"We need to do better because we're up against a very talented side in Serbia on Tuesday night".

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