Republic of Ireland, Georgia play out draw

The Republic of Ireland have drawn 1-1 against Georgia in the World Cup qualifiers.

Shane Duffy opened the scoring before Valeri Qazaishvili equalised before half time.

Duffy took advantage of a mistake by Georgia goalkeeper Georgi Makaridze to head in his first international goal after just four minutes.

The Republic tried to take advantage of a shell-shocked Georgian defence too but Robbie Brady’s free kick went wide.

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Georgia grew into the game, Giorgi Kvilitaia heading wide before failing to turn a cross towards goal a few minutes later.

The Irish then countered through Jon Walters but his cross was headed wide by the unmarked James McClean.

Georgia penned Ireland into their own half with a flurry of crossing and their pressure paid off in the 34th minute. Jano Ananidze chipped a ball through to Qazaishvili to stroke first-time past Darren Randolph.

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Otar Kakabadze could have given Georgia the lead a few minutes later but his shot was deflected into the arms of Randolph befor Nika Kvekveskiri’s long-ranger was held.

Georgia continued to attack in the second half and Ananidze curled the ball wide from the edge of the box after beating Glenn Whelan.

Ireland did have some chances to win the game towards the end. Harry Arter struck a volley straight at the goalkeeper and Shane Long headed over from McClean’s cross.

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Aiden McGeady then attacked but his shot was blocked before Brady’s 20-yard effort was parried away.

McClean had a great chance to give the Republic of Ireland a late victory. He received Long’s centre but shot straight at the keeper when one-on-one.

It was Georgia’s turn next to come close to winning it. Giorgi Merebashvili’s shot from the edge of the box skimmed the far post but the final whistle blew shortly afterwards.

Cover Photo: Irish flag by Anna & Michal under license by CC BY-SA 2.0.

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