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'We got sloppy after scoring the goal and couldn't get on the ball'

Ireland defender Shane Duffy had mixed emotions after tonight’s draw with Georgia.

Duffy scored early on tonight.
Duffy scored early on tonight.
Image: Steven Paston

SHANE DUFFY WILL remember tonight forever but it certainly won’t be Ireland’s performance that he looks back on fondly.

The big centre-half bagged his first international goal four minutes into the World Cup qualifier with Georgia, but the Boys in Green were poor all over the park for the majority of the evening and ended up drawing 1-1.

“We got sloppy after scoring the goal,” the Brighton defender said post-match. “We couldn’t get on the ball and get things going. They dominated and scored a goal, which killed us a bit.

But we stuck at it and had three or four chances to win the game in the end. A point is probably fair.”

On getting off the mark at senior level, he added: “We knew their keeper would try and come for a lot of things and we just gambled on putting it on top of them. It worked early on and don’t think he came for any more after that.

“I didn’t know to do to be fair [after scoring]. I was delighted. Scoring for your country is what you dream of doing.

“I thought I did okay. I was a little bit sloppy on the ball but maybe I’m harsh on myself. I’m disappointed with how we conceded because I thought we defended the crosses and interceptions well.

“They got through with one little mistake at the back and they punished us.”

The Georgians had the lion’s share of possession throughout and Ireland were made to look second best, although the visitors did have opportunities to nick three points at the death.

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“We knew they could take points off teams because they’re a good side,” Duffy went on. “That final end product is probably what they don’t have.

I’d say they’re better than some of the teams ranked above them. On paper, it’s not a glamorous side but that was difficult and it was when we played them at home too.

“We want to beat those teams but if you can’t beat them you need to avoid defeat and we did that. We’ll take that positive on to Tuesday.”

The result leaves Ireland two points adrift of Group D leaders Serbia, who come to Dublin in three days’ time, so they will have the chance to put things right at the Aviva Stadium.

“We know it’s a huge game and if we win that then we can potentially go top of the group. If we do that, we’re one step closer to the World Cup.”

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