Georgia 1 - 2 Republic of Ireland | 2016 - UEFA Euro | 2013814

UEFA European ChampionshipQualifying Round | Boris Paichadze National Stadium, Tbilisi
7 September 2014 - 20:00 (local time)

Georgia 1 - 2 Republic of Ireland

Okriashvili(38) Full-time McGeady(24, 90)
Georgia Republic of Ireland

McGeady magic delivers win in Georgia

GEORGIA 1 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 2 - Aidan McGeady scored twice to deliver Ireland the perfect start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign as they beat Georgia in Tblisi.
Aiden McGeady.jpg
7th Sep 2014

McGeady produced a moment of magic in the 90th minute to score a sublime winner after his opening effort in the 24th minute had been cancelled out by an equally spectacular goal from Georgian midfielder Tornike Okriashvili .

“A stroke of genius,” said a delighted Ireland manager Martin O’Neill at the final whistle as he celebrated a win in his first competitive match since taking over as manager at the end of last year.

O’Neill went with 4-5-1 formation from the start with Stephen Quinn joining Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy in the centre of midfield, Jonathon Walters and McGeady on the flanks and skipper Robbie Keane playing as the lone striker.

Ireland started well and looked very comfortable in the opening 20 minutes but were given a fright on 23 minutes when Gelashvili shot across the face of goal and then Lobzhanidze just failed to connect with a flick from Khubutia at the back post from the resultant corner.

That chance had a positive effect on Ireland because they immediately swept down the field from the goal-kick and opened the scoring when Walters won the ball, Keane dummied and McCarthy teed up the supporting McGeady to slot the ball home from 10 metres.

Although Ireland were firmly in the driving seat at this stage the Georgians still looked dangerous on the break and their captain Kankava saw his shot deflected off O’Shea for corner before they equalised in the 38th minute.

There looked be little danger as Gelashvili laid the ball off to Okriashvili some 20 metres from goal but, even though O’Shea and Wad were in close attendance, Okriashvili let fly from distance and sent the ball screaming into the roof of the net past a bemused Dabid Forde.

Georgia lost their goalkeeper Loria to an injury sustained just before the half-time break and he was replaced by Kvaskhvadze who was winning just his second cap.

McGeady’s free kick curled around the wall, and just past the keeper’s left hand post, after 57 minutes while Keane failed to connect properly with a Walters cross and McGeady’s shot was easily gathered by Kvaskhvadze.

At the other end Forde got down well to save from Georgia substitute David Targamadze and then Whelan found McGeady on the edge of the box slipped a couple of tackles and cracked a shot just over.

Martin O’Neill made a double substitution with 15 minutes to go as Shane Long and Robbie Brady came on for Robbie Keane and Stephen Quinn respectively but it looked as though the game was heading for a draw when McGeady produced his moment of magic at the end of normal time.

Seamus Coleman’s cross from the right found his Everton team-mate on the edge of his back. A double draw-back created allowed McGeady to turn and create space simultaneously and he cracked a left-footed shot into the corner past the out-stretch hand of Kvaskhvadze for a sublime winner.

Georgia: Loria (GK) (Kvaskhvadze (GK) 46): Lobzhanidze, Kverkvelia, Khubutia, Kvirkvelia; Kashia; Daushvili, Okriashvili (Mchedlidze), Ananidze (Targamadze (63), Kankava (C); Gelashvili.

Republic of Ireland: Forde (GK); Coleman, O'Shea, Wilson, Ward; Walters, Whelan, McCarthy (Meyler 90), Quinn (Brady 76), McGeady; Keane (C) (Long 76)

Referee: Kevin Blom (NED)

The road to France starts here

Georgia is about as far away from France as any of the competing nations in EURO 2016 but over the next year Martin O’Neill and his squad are intent on plotting a course to the finals from a group that contains Germany, Scotland, Poland, Gibraltar and tonight’s opponents, Georgia.
Road to France.jpg
7th Sep 2014

Martin O’Neill is keeping his counsel about Ireland's starting eleven as he prepares for tonight’s opener even if he  benefits from a squad that emerged fully fit following pre-match training yesterday at the Boris Paichadze National Stadium in Tblisi.

Georgia have played Ireland five times and their record of five defeats masks the danger posed by an up and coming squad that held France to a home draw in the last qualification campaign. Their manager Temur Ketsbaia, the former Newcastle United midfielder will be looking to extract the full benefit of home support, a factor they missed when Ireland played them in the opening qualification match for the 2010 World Cup in the neutral venue of Mainz.

In the build-up to tonight’s game Martin O’Neill said he is glad the ten month wait for a competitive match is drawing to a close but recognises that Georgia pose a threat, describing them as strong with some big players in defence and at least three or four attacking players of real quality who are capable of causing problems.

Preceding tonight’s match, O’Neill indicated that Group D is likely to go right to the wire with Ireland, Scotland, Poland and Georgia all capable of taking points off each other in every head to head. The heat of Georgia will make tonight’s game a real challenge but one he believes the players can overcome as they set out on their campaign.

The match kicks off at 8.00pm local time (5pm in Ireland) and with 40,000 tickets already sold in the 55,000 capacity stadium, the 450 travelling Irish supporters will be hoping the boys in green under Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane can silence the opposition.

For minute by minute commentary, line ups and match stats, visit our match centre.

Tactical Lineups

Georgia

1 Loria (G) 2 Lobzhanidze 3 Kverkvelia 4 Kashia 6 Khubutia 7 Kankava (C) 8 Daushvili 9 Gelashvili 10 Ananidze 15 Okriashvili 16 Kvirkvelia

Substitutes

  • 12 Roin Kvaskhvadze (G)
  • 13 Omar Migineishvili (G)
  • 5 Gia Grigalava
  • 11 Levan Mchedlidze
  • 14 David Targamadze
  • 17 Avtandil Ebralidze
  • 18 Levan Khmaladze
  • 19 Alexander Kobakhidze
  • 20 Valeri Qazaishvili
  • 21 Irakli Dzaria
  • 22 Grigol Dolidze
  • 23 Giorgi Rekhviashvili

Republic of Ireland

1 Forde (G) 2 Coleman 3 Wilson 4 O'Shea 6 Whelan 7 McGeady 8 McCarthy 10 Keane (C) 14 Walters 17 Ward 18 Quinn

Officials

  • Referee Kevin Blom
  • Assistant Referee Patrick Langkamp
  • Assistant Referee Rob van de Ven
  • Additional Assistant Referee Danny Makkelie
  • Additional Assistant Referee Richard Liesveld
  • 4th Referee Charles Schaap
  • Uefa Delegate Tervel Zlatev
  • Referee Observer Jari Maisonlahti
  • Alexandre Clerc
  • Vakhtang Bzikadze
  • David Chigogidze
  • Media Officer Mamuka Kvaratskhelia

Minute by Minute Commentary

  • The match is under way.
  • 1" Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 4" Murtaz Daushvili (Georgia) is penalised for a foul on Stephen Quinn (Republic of Ireland).
  • 6" Nikoloz Gelashvili (Georgia) is flagged for offside.
  • 12" Akaki Khubutia (Georgia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland).
  • 13" Stephen Quinn (Republic of Ireland) takes the free-kick.
  • 13" Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 14" Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Nikoloz Gelashvili (Georgia).
  • 15" Seamus Coleman (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Tornike Okriashvili (Georgia).
  • 22" Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 22" Nikoloz Gelashvili (Georgia) misses the target.
  • 23" Jano Ananidze (Georgia) delivers the corner.
  • 23" Solomon Kverkvelia (Georgia) misses the target.
  • 24" Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) scores!
  • 25" Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) is adjudged to be in an offside position.
  • 28" Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Jaba Kankava (Georgia).
  • 29" Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 30" John O'Shea (Republic of Ireland) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Nikoloz Gelashvili (Georgia).
  • 31" Dato Kvirkvelia (Georgia) takes the free-kick.
  • 34" Jaba Kankava (Georgia) has an effort on goal.
  • 34" David Forde (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 36" Jano Ananidze (Georgia) delivers the corner.
  • 36" Dato Kvirkvelia (Georgia) fouls.
  • 36" Dato Kvirkvelia (Georgia) is cautioned by the referee.
  • 36" Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland) is shown a yellow card.
  • 38" Tornike Okriashvili (Georgia) scores!
  • 41" Stephen Ward (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Tornike Okriashvili (Georgia).
  • 42" Jano Ananidze (Georgia) takes the free-kick.
  • 44" Jano Ananidze (Georgia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland).
  • The referee blows for half-time.
  • The second half begins.
  • 46" Roin Kvaskhvadze (in) - Giorgi Loria (out) (Georgia)
  • 48" Akaki Khubutia (Georgia) fouls.
  • 48" Akaki Khubutia (Georgia) is booked.
  • 52" Jano Ananidze (Georgia) takes the corner.
  • 52" Tornike Okriashvili (Georgia) has a shot blocked.
  • 54" Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) delivers the corner.
  • 55" Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) is penalised for a foul on Ucha Lobzhanidze (Georgia).
  • 56" Akaki Khubutia (Georgia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland).
  • 57" Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 61" Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 63" David Targamadze (in) - Jano Ananidze (out) (Georgia)
  • 64" Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) has an effort on goal.
  • 64" Roin Kvaskhvadze (Georgia) blocks a shot.
  • 66" Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) takes the corner.
  • 68" David Targamadze (Georgia) has an attempt on goal.
  • 68" David Forde (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • 73" Marc Wilson (Republic of Ireland) fouls.
  • 74" Tornike Okriashvili (Georgia) delivers the corner.
  • 74" Ucha Lobzhanidze (Georgia) is penalised for a foul on Stephen Quinn (Republic of Ireland).
  • 75" Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 76" Shane Long (in) - Robbie Keane (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 76" Robbie Brady (in) - Stephen Quinn (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 80" Jaba Kankava (Georgia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland).
  • 83" Murtaz Daushvili (Georgia) fouls.
  • 83" Murtaz Daushvili (Georgia) is cautioned by the referee.
  • 85" Ucha Lobzhanidze (Georgia) is penalised for a foul on Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland).
  • 87" Jon Walters (Republic of Ireland) misses the target.
  • 87" Tornike Okriashvili (Georgia) gives away a free-kick for a challenge on Marc Wilson (Republic of Ireland).
  • 88" Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) is flagged for offside.
  • 88" Levan Mchedlidze (in) - Tornike Okriashvili (out) (Georgia)
  • 90" Aiden McGeady (Republic of Ireland) scores!
  • 90+1" David Meyler (in) - James McCarthy (out) (Republic of Ireland)
  • 90+2" Levan Mchedlidze (Georgia) has an effort on goal.
  • 90+2" David Forde (Republic of Ireland) blocks a shot.
  • The final whistle is blown.

Match Statistics

  • Georgia
  • Republic of Ireland

Corners Won

4 4

Shots on Target

4 3

Shots off Target

2 4

Fouls Committed

11 9
  • Georgia

    Republic of Ireland

  • 1Goals2
  • 3Yellow Card(s)1
  • 0Red Card(s)0
  • 4Shots on Goal3
  • 2Shots Wide4
  • 1Shot(s) Blocked0
  • 1Save(s)3
  • 7Total Shots7
  • 11Fouls Committed9
  • 4Corner(s)4
  • 1Offside(s)2