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Dublin: 10°C Saturday 24 October 2020
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GOOD EVENING AND welcome along. We’re at the Aviva Stadium for Ireland’s second Euro 2016 qualifier in four days as the Boys in Green host Georgia.

A routine 4-0 win over Gibraltar on Friday night coupled with Scotland’s 1-0 defeat in Tbilisi has given Ireland a renewed sense of hope as they bid to qualify for next year’s finals in France.

We’re 45 minutes away from kick-off and the team news is just in. The only change from that victory is Faro is the return of Seamus Coleman to full-back. One of the goalscorers that night, Cyrus Christie, drops to the bench.

IRELAND: Given, Coleman, O’Shea, Clark, Brady, McCarthy, Whelan, Hoolahan, Hendrick, Walters, Keane (c).

GEORGIA: Revishvili, Lobzhanidze, Kverkvelia, Kashia, Amisulashvili, Khizanishvili, Kankava (c), Kazaishvili, Okriashvili, Navalovsky, Mchedlidze.

Elsewhere in Group D this evening, Poland are at home to Gibraltar and the Scots host world champions Germany.

If Ireland can win and Gordon Strachan’s men lose out at Hampden Park, it would leave them with a four-point advantage in the play-off spot ahead of meetings with Germany and Poland next month.

Screenshot 2015-09-07 at 19.10.37

Quick poll. Do you think Ireland will qualify for Euro 2016?


Poll Results:

No (977)
Yes (934)


The national anthems are out of the way so we’re about to get started here.

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3 mins - Ireland have lined out in a similar way to Friday, with a four-man diamond in midfield — Glenn Whelan anchoring, Jeff Hendrick and James McCarthy on either side and Wes Hoolahan in behind front men Robbie Keane and Jon Walters.

5 mins - Robbie Brady has just played two sloppy passes and gifted Georgia their first corner. That comes to nothing but it was poor play from the Norwich man.

8 mins - Ireland create their first real chance through a slick passing move involving Brady, Hoolahan, Walters and Keane. The Ireland skipper chests the ball down but blasts a shot over the bar.

11 mins - Georgia’s Levan Mchedlidze breaks through the Irish defence before shooting tamely at Shay Given.

19 mins - Walters very nearly finds Keane with a through-ball but it’s cut out by Solomon Kverkvelia. The Stoke striker has been lively in these early stages.

22 mins - News from Hampden Park – Germany are ahead against Scotland thanks to Thomas Mueller. Meanwhile, Poland lead Gibraltar 3-0.

23 mins - Georgia’s Giorgi Navalovsky shoots just wide with an acrobatic overhead kick.

27 mins - Ireland enjoying a good spell of possession and Hendrick attempts to pick out Keane with an inventive clipped ball over the top. Keane doesn’t manage to get on the end of it, however.

30 mins - Bad news… Scotland have equalised against Germany. Mats Hummels with the own-goal.

35 mins - Fans at Hampden Park are being treated to a much more entertaining game than this one. Germany go back in front through Mueller’s second of the night.

36 mins - What a hit! Seamus Coleman controls the ball on the edge of the box and sends a thunderous strike at goal. Georgian stopper Nukri Revishvili has to be at his best to keep it out.

42 mins - More pressure from Ireland with several players involved but they still haven’t been able to find the breakthrough. Down the other end, Valeri Kazaishvili very nearly catches Given out after a back-pass from O’Shea.

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45 mins - Half-time: Ireland 0-0 Georgia

John O'Shea argues with Ovidiu Hategan at halftime John O'Shea talks to the officials as he walks off the pitch at half-time. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

More goals to report from the night’s other big Group D match. Scotland have drawn with Germany again thanks to James McArthur.

Back in Dublin, there has been a half-time substitution as Shane Long is on for Keane. He might be just the thing Ireland need to find an opener.

47 mins - Some good play from Ireland on the edge of Georgia’s box but the end result is an over-hit cross by Coleman.

Georgian midfielder Tornike Okriashvili has just had a pop at goal but it’s not accurate enough to trouble Given.

50 mins - Another disappointing turn-out from Ireland fans tonight with the Aviva Stadium looking less than half full. And those who have shown up haven’t been particularly vocal, meaning it has been eerily quiet at times.

54 mins - Brady catches Mchedlidze  in the head with a knee and the Empoli player theatrically rolls around in pain. Free-kick to Georgia but no booking.

57 mins - Brilliant play from Coleman. He weaves his way past a couple of players and exchanges a one-two with Hoolahan before toe-poking at goal. Revishvili is the right place to keep it out though.

60 mins - Brady has been getting down the left flank regularly in the last few minutes and Khizanishvili has to stretch to head away with Walters loitering dangerously.

63 mins - Three good opportunities for Ireland to score in as many minutes. Revishvili saves from a Hendricks strike and Walters’ glancing header after Whelan’s pop shot. McCarthy then fires over.

65 mins - Georgi’s first substitution of the night sees Giorgi Papunashvili on for Kazaishvili.

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69 mins – GOAL! Ireland 1-0 Georgia (Jon Walters) 

It’s there! A fabulous run by Hendrick takes out three defenders and he squares to Walters for a tap-in from close range.

70 mins - Over in Glasgow, Ilkay Guendogan has handed Germany a 3-2 lead against the Scots. Lovely stuff.

73 mins - Whelan earns himself a booking for dissent after going through the back of Papunashvili.

Moments later, James McClean is introduced in place of Hoolahan and almost immediately picks up a booking for a foul on the same player. That rules both out of Ireland’s next qualifier against Germany next month.

75 mins - Whelan nicks possession and breaks forward on his own. He decides to turn back in order to keep possession and finds McClean, who runs to the end-line and crosses for Long. Unfortunately, his shot is blocked.

85 mins - Georgia make one final change — Levan Kenia on for Khizanishvili. They will play the final minutes with ten men too as Mchedlidze is stretchered off with an injury moments later.

90 mins - Just three minutes additional time to play.

91 mins - McClean races through to take hold of possession and turns to send a rasping shot at goal. Revishvili palms away and Long lets it run out for a corner.

Relief. It wasn’t pretty but Ireland grind out a 1-0 win and secure a second win of this international break. With Scotland losing out to Germany 3-2 and Poland beating Gibraltar 8-1, the Boys in Green open up a four-point gap between themselves and Scotland.

About the author:

Ben Blake

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