Martin O’Neill left disappointed after Georgia draw

Republic of Ireland - Georgia v Republic of Ireland - 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying

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Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill was left disappointed with his side after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Georgia on Saturday night.

Ireland took an early lead in the World Cup Qualifier clash, with Shane Duffy heading them in front after just four minutes.

However, Georgia soon took command of the game and they levelled when Valeri Qazaishvili finished off a fine team move towards the end of the first half.

O’Neill’s men had chances late on through James McClean and Aidan McGeady but they now fallen two points behind leaders Serbia in Group D.

Speaking after the match, O’Neill admitted his team were unable to get going in Tbilisi. “We didn’t play well enough in the first half and Georgia were better than us,” he told Sky Sports.

“Second half we improved, which we had to, and it’s disappointing because of the performance, but we are still in it. We have some very good technical players who didn’t perform as well as they can.”

His comments were echoed by McClean, who has now demanded a response against the group’s front-runners.

He added: “All around we weren’t good enough: our passing, our energy, our defending, our finishing. They’re a lot better than what people think when you look at their results through the group.

“Saying that I believe we’re better, but tonight we didn’t show that – all over the pitch they were better, passed the ball better.

We’ll have better nights; hopefully one of those will be on Tuesday.” Ireland are 2.75 to win, with the draw 3.10, while Serbia are 2.75 to secure all three points.

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