Georgia vs Republic of Ireland World Cup Qualifying UEFA

Erica Murray
September 3, 2017

"We're going to put heart and soul into the match and try and beat a side who probably - technically - are better than us".

Anyway, he added "it's time to reflect on all of our performances and use it positively". "We have to play better, be at our best".

Manager O'Neill appreciates the scale of the challenge ahead.

Duffy went close to restoring Ireland's lead on the cusp of half-time, but the visitors' performance thereafter was poor, with stray passes and a lack of bite in midfield allowing Georgia an easy ride as they picked up their fourth draw of the campaign. That's what we'll have to do.

"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".

But, the reality is that they will need to be set up to win.

Jonathan Walters was handed a 50th senior cap as part of an Ireland side that featured two changes to the one that drew with Austria in June, Ciaran Clark and Shane Long replacing Kevin Long and Jeff Hendrick. I said yesterday that considering they're supposed to be the last seeds, they're the strongest last seeds in the whole thing.

He said: "When I was called up for the first time, I'd been at Bournemouth for seven years and coming to a new environment was different, let alone coming in with a group of players who had a different accent to me".

Georgia looked like the team with something to play for despite already being out of qualification.

And so it proved with Georgia having 74% of the possession in a game were Ireland often looked laboured, bereft of ideas, and, in truth, lucky to escape Tbilisi with a point thanks to Shane Duffy's goal.

The midfielder cancelled out Shane Duffy's early opener, the first goal of his senior worldwide career, before the break to leave the Republic hanging on on a steamy night in Tbilisi.

"We probably scored a bit too early".

"They took the lead..."

"We couldn't really put our foot down and it was hard for us to control the first half after the goal".

"I am delighted with the goal but everyone would say they would rather get three points for their country".

"We did well, we controlled the game and we are not used to doing that".

Harry Arter's hopeful 25 yard volley was the only real chance before the hour and it was comfortably saved by Makaridze, but Georgia continued to dominate the ball where Ireland could have kicked on.

Soon after the restart, Jano Ananidze should have done better when the ball fell invitingly for him on the edge of the penalty area, but his low strike was curled wide of Randolph's post. We definitely know it could have been a lot better but we had to grind it out and defend and a point away from home is sometimes a good result.

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