Dublin: 15°C Friday 18 June 2021

A win is a win - but the stats from last night show Ireland were lucky to get all three points

A Séamus Coleman goal was the difference between the two sides.

O'Neill claimed Georgia could have snatched the win if they had a prolific striker in their team.
O'Neill claimed Georgia could have snatched the win if they had a prolific striker in their team.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

YOU PROBABLY DON’T need to see the stats from last night’s game to know that Georgia could consider themselves unlucky to leave Lansdowne Road empty handed.

Martin O’Neill’s side had less goal attempts, possession, attempted passes, completed passes and corners at home to the team ranked 137th in the world.

Georgia had 11 attempts, two more shots than the home side, with the teams level on three shots on target.

Stats 1 Source: Uefa.com

The hosts were lucky not to concede in the first-half, with Vladimir Weiss’ team hitting the woodwork twice, although James McClean rattled the crossbar with a header of his own in the second period.

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Stats 2 Source: Uefa.com

Georgia controlled the game without dominating possession with 56% of the ball. That resulted in the visitors attempting 48% or 154 more passes than Boys in Green, with a slightly better passing accuracy of 88% compared to Ireland’s 85%.

“We’ve a bit of spirit in the side, a never-say-die attitude and a will to win, and those things, rather than anything else, carried us through,” O’Neill said after the match.

The spirit that the Ireland manager refers to, is still perhaps the most important aspect of this Irish team, that is difficult to convey in numbers and statistics.

But his side can’t replicate many performances like last night because next time, especially when Ireland face better opposition, they may not be as lucky.

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