Soccer Scene

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07.09.2015 at 20:45 Aviva Stadium Attendance:
Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Georgia
Referee: Istan Vud European Cup Qualifier / Prog-match

Jon Walters (69)
Opening squads
Shay Given
Ciaran Clarke
Seamus Coleman
John O'Shea
James Mc Carthy
Robert Brady
Jeff Hendrick
Wesley Hoolahan
Glen Whelan
Jon Walters
Robbie Keane
Revishvili (GK)
Kankava (C)
David Forde
Darren Randolph
Cyrus Christie
Stephen Ward
Marc Wilson
Stephen Quinn
Richard Keogh
David Meyler
Shane Long
James Mc Clean
Aidan Mc Geady
Kevin Doyle
Otar Kakabadze,
Giorgi Papunashvili,
Levan Kenia,
Giorgia Popkhadze,
Mate Tsintsadze,
Giorgi Merebashvili,
Bachana Tskhadadze,
Mate Vatsadze,
Murtaz Daushvili,
Giorgi Loria,
Giorgi Makaridze
Shane Long -> Robbie Keane (46)
James Mc Clean -> Wesley Hoolahan (75)
Giorgi Papunashvili for Kazaishvili 64 mins,
Mate Tsintsadze for Kashia 76 mins,
Levan Kenia for Khizanishvili 81 Mins,
Yellow cards
Glen Whelan (74)
James Mc Clean (76)
Red cards
None. None
Other statistics
0 Shots 0
0 Shots on goal 0
0 Offsides 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Free kicks 0
0 Penalties 0
Match report

Pictures from the match
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Georgia:
Jonathan Walters' second-half strike seals crucial three points

Republic of Ireland kept their Euro 2016 automatic qualification hopes alive as Jonathan Walters' second-half strike helped them to a laboured 1-0 victory at home to Georgia on Monday night.

The home side put in a sluggish first-half display in what was billed as a must-win European Qualifier at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, and Martin O'Neill reacted by sending on Shane Long in place of the ineffective Robbie Keane after the interval.

The move certainly changed Republic of Ireland's fortunes and they finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute after Walters bundled the ball home at the near post after excellent work from

Ireland had Glenn Whelan and James McClean booked late on and both will miss the clash with Germany next month.

However, O'Neill will be delighted as his side held on for a crucial three points to move four points clear of Scotland - who lost 3-2 to Germany - in third and keep pace in the race for the top two spots in Group D.

Before the match, both manager O'Neill and captain Keane stressed the importance of the clash with Georgia, claiming it was a must-win game.

With fixtures against Germany and Poland to come, the pressure was on Ireland - who brought in Seamus Coleman for Cyrus Christie - and it showed.
Martin O'Neill shakes hands with Republic of Ireland striker Jon Walters
Martin O'Neill shakes hands with Republic of Ireland striker Jon Walters

Georgia were the team who looked more at home as Levan Mchedlidze burst into the penalty area in the 11th minute, but his weak right-footed shot failed to trouble Shay Given.

O'Neill's side were struggling to find any rhythm and it seemed to be making the crowd anxious, with Georgia comfortable in possession of the ball.
Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill hailed his players after they found a way to win against Georgia
Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill hailed his players after they found a way to win against Georgia

It took until the 30th minute for Ireland to look threatening as Hendrick clipped a lovely ball in behind the Georgia defence, but Keane failed to latch onto the pass.

Minutes later, the home side had their first real effort on goal as Coleman hit the target from the edge of the penalty area, forcing goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili into a smart save.

O'Neill was not happy with what he saw during the first 45 minutes and reacted by hauling off captain Keane at the interval and replacing him with Long.

The move had the desired effect for the hosts as they moved forward with more pace, creating openings for both Coleman and Whelan.

Next it was Robbie Brady threatening the vistors' defence, standing up a cross at the far post which just eluded a determined looking Walters.

Minutes later, Hendricks tested Revishvilli from distance and the goalkeeper was up to the task, parrying the ball away to safety.

The momentum was certainly building for Ireland and they finally broke the deadlock with 21 minutes remaining as Hendrick turned provider in superb style with 21 minutes remaining when he slipped between three red shirts before crossing for Walters to fire home at the near post.

With just over 10 minutes remaining, substitute Long might have made it 2-0 after substitute McClean had run on to Whelan's pass and drilled the ball across goal, but the Southampton striker failed to connect with his attempted shot.

McClean, who will miss his side's next fixture alongside Whelan through suspension, forced another excellent save from Revishvili with a rasping injury-time strike, but the points were already secure.

The Republic now trail second-place Poland by two points and could still clinch an automatic qualification spot, but could yet be caught by Scotland in the race for the play-offs.

However, a win in either of their remaining games at home to Germany and away in Poland would guarantee a play-off place at worst.
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