European Championship Qualifying - Group D
R. of IrelandRepublic of Ireland1GeorgiaGeorgia0

Republic of Ireland 1-0 Georgia

By John HaugheyBBC Sport NI
Jon Walters (left) celebrates scoring
The Republic of Ireland were unable to break down Georgia at the Aviva Stadium - until Walters struck

The Republic of Ireland kept their Euro 2016 qualification hopes alive as a second-half goal from Jon Walters earned a vital win over Georgia.

After a nervous first-half display, the Republic raised the tempo after the break and Jeff Hendrick's fine run set up Walters's 69th-minute winner.

The Republic stay third in Group D but they have a four-point cushion over Scotland after Germany won in Glasgow.

Poland remain second after routing Gibraltar 8-1 in Warsaw.

What does the Republic's win mean?

Euro 2016 Qualifying Group D

The Republic are still four points behind group leaders Germany but, with two matches remaining, they are now in position to clinch at least a play-off spot.

However, those are two tough games as they first host Germany in Dublin on 8 October before concluding their campaign in Poland.

That said, one win would guarantee Martin O'Neill's side one of the eight play-off places.

And a win in Warsaw would clinch an automatic qualifying spot for the Irish if Scotland beat Poland in Glasgow three days earlier.

The one downside from the Republic's win was the bookings picked up by Glenn Whelan and James McClean, which will rule them out of the Germany contest.

Moment of magic breaks deadlock

Hendrick's stunning run and cross as he jinked past three attempted challenges before setting up Walters to stab home dramatically changed the contest at the Aviva Stadium.

Jon Walters celebrates scoring for the Republic of Ireland

The Republic had looked jittery in the first period as Georgia striker Levan Mchedlidze twice went close after being set up by impressive playmaker Tornike Okriashvili.

But boosted by the half-time introduction of Shane Long for the ineffective Robbie Keane, the Republic lifted the pace in the second half as the busy Glenn Whelan and Hendrick tested keeper Nukri Revishvili.

Yet, the Georgians still looked largely comfortable until Hendrick's bit of magic set up Walters's winner.

Man of the match - Jeff Hendrick

Jeff Hendrick's moment of brilliance turned the contest at the Aviva Stadium
Jeff Hendrick fights out an aerial duel with Ucha Lobzhanidze at the Aviva Stadium

For that delightful piece of skill alone, the Derby midfielder has to be the man of the match.

Despite lifting the pace after half-time, the Republic were still showing little sign of breaking down the Georgia defence until Hendrick's moment of inspiration.

O'Neill's relief after 'tense' night

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill: "That was very tense. We didn't play well in the first half. We were very tentative. You might even say nervous.

"But in the second half there was a great turnaround, with great effort and application and we found a way to win. Jeff Hendrick was absolutely magnificent for the goal. He has the ability to do that. He just needs a wee bit more encouragement.

"And it was great to see Jon Walters, who has had a fantastic tournament for us, get the goal. He's got a great, great heart."

Republic of Ireland goalscorer Jon Walters: "It was all about the result tonight. It was tough but we knew it was going to be that.

"We managed a 1-0 (win) and we couldn't have asked for any more. Fair play to Jeff Hendrick. He made the goal for me. He's got that ability. He's a top quality player.

"We are still a million miles away from qualifying. We've got two big games coming up next months but we'll take that in our stride hopefully."

The stats you need to know

  • Jon Walters's winner was his seventh international goal
  • The Republic defeated Georgia 2-1 in Tbilisi in their opening Group D match - a fixture that took place a year ago to the day
  • Robbie Keane remains on 67 international goals - one short of Germany great Gerd Muller
  • Glenn Whelan and James McClean suspended for Germany home game on 8 October

Line-ups

R. of Ireland

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 16Given
  • 2Coleman
  • 4O'Shea
  • 5Clark
  • 19Brady
  • 8McCarthy
  • 6WhelanBooked at 74mins
  • 20HoolahanSubstituted forMcCleanat 75'minutesBooked at 75mins
  • 21Hendrick
  • 10KeaneSubstituted forLongat 45'minutes
  • 14Walters

Substitutes

  • 1Forde
  • 3Wilson
  • 7McGeady
  • 9Long
  • 11McClean
  • 12Meyler
  • 13Doyle
  • 15Christie
  • 17Ward
  • 18Quinn
  • 22Keogh
  • 23Randolph

Georgia

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 12Revishvili
  • 3Kverkvelia
  • 5Amisulashvili
  • 6KhizanishviliSubstituted forKeniaat 81'minutes
  • 2Lobzhanidze
  • 4KashiaSubstituted forTsintsadzeat 76'minutes
  • 7Kankava
  • 22Navalovski
  • 8QazaishviliSubstituted forPapunashviliat 64'minutes
  • 10Okriashvili
  • 23Mchedlidze

Substitutes

  • 1Loria
  • 9Daushvili
  • 11Vatsadze
  • 13Makaridze
  • 14Tskhadadze
  • 15Merebashvili
  • 16Tsintsadze
  • 17Popkhadze
  • 18Kenia
  • 19Papunashvili
  • 21Kakabadze
Referee:
Istvan Vad

Match Stats

Home TeamR. of IrelandAway TeamGeorgia
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home16
Away6
Shots on Target
Home7
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away1
Fouls
Home13
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Republic of Ireland 1, Georgia 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Republic of Ireland 1, Georgia 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Nukri Revishvili.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Shane Long with a headed pass.

  5. Post update

    Levan Mchedlidze went off injured after Georgia had used all subs.

  6. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  7. Post update

    Delay in match Levan Mchedlidze (Georgia) because of an injury.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Georgia. Levan Kenia replaces Zurab Khizanishvili.

  9. Post update

    Jonathan Walters (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Georgi Navalovski (Georgia).

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Shane Long (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by James McClean with a cross.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Georgia. Mate Tsintsadze replaces Guram Kashia.

  13. Booking

    James McClean (Republic of Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

    Foul by James McClean (Republic of Ireland).

  15. Post update

    Giorgi Papunashvili (Georgia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Republic of Ireland. James McClean replaces Wes Hoolahan.

  17. Booking

    Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland) is shown the yellow card.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Glenn Whelan (Republic of Ireland).

  19. Post update

    Giorgi Papunashvili (Georgia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jonathan Walters.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Monday 7th September 2015

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