Ireland headed to Tblisi this evening eager to keep pace with Serbia at the summit of Group D, but the Boys in Green ran into a stern Georgia challenge. The hosts made life difficult for Martin O’Neill’s side, and cancelled out Shane Duffy’s opener to bring the sides level at the break.
While the Irish withstood the Georgian pressure to finish stronger, there was no breakthrough, and it will be deemed as two points dropped.
Darren Randolph 6
He’s not to blame for the Georgian goal, but nonetheless the Bray shot-stopper may be disappointed with his failure to prevent the equaliser.
Otherwise, he was reasonably solid.
Cyrus Christie 5
The fullback had little impact in the first half, showed no attacking prowess, and didn’t offer Randolph much options from kick-off.
In the second period, he got on the ball more often, but it was far from an ideal showing.
Shane Duffy 6
Duffy took his goal well, and was unlucky not to score a second in the first half with a header from a corner.
He put in some valuable defensive contributions throughout, but lacked go-forward with the ball at his feet.
Ciaran Clark 5
Clark clattered the goalie with an elbow in the run-up to the opening goal, but crucially got away with it. However, the defence lacked organisation as the Georgians poured forward.
Stephen Ward 4
Ward had little or no impact in the opening 45 minutes, as he failed to offer any credible threat throughout, giving needless balls away.
Robbie Brady 4
Brady rattled a fierce shot from outside the box in the second half which gave the Georgian keeper something to think about. All in all, Brady was far from his influential best.
Glenn Whelan 3
Whelan is not there to be the focal point of Ireland’s attack, but offered so little on the ball that serious question marks have to be asked about his future in green.
Harry Arter 4
There was a lot of hype about Arter before the game, but he had nowhere near the impact which Roy Keane or Martin O’Neill would have envisaged. He couldn’t have too many complaints about being the first to be called ashore.
James McClean 6
It was a typical laboured performance from the West Brom winger, but like so many others, he failed to make breakthroughs. He missed a crucial chance in the second half late on, when a heavy touch took the ball away from him.
Shane Long 5
It was a frustrating evening for the Tipperary man, as he worked tirelessly but to little avail. A lack of support ensured that the few balls he did manage to win came to nothing.
He missed a decent chance with 20 minutes to go.
Jon Walters 5
Walters came up with some defensive contributions, but after a beaut of a cross to James McClean in the first half, faded from the game.
Aiden McGeady 6
McGeady breathed some much-need life into the Irish challenge, and thanks to him, they looked the more likely to grab a winner as the game headed down the final straight.
He was dispossessed with ten minutes to go as Ireland poured forward. The late miss summed up a frustrating evening for the team.
Not on long enough to be rated.