Aiden McGeady’s double secured an unlikely win for Ireland against Georgia in Tbilisi.
McGeady finished off Ireland’s only real passage of flowing, attacking play to put Martin O’Neill’s side ahead, only to see Tornike Okriashvili equalise with a dipping shot over a static David Forde.
Ireland looked like they were playing for the draw until McGeady eluded his man and secured the win with a composed finish.
Here’s how Ireland’s players rated…
David Forde – With Shay Given lurking, getting caught flat footed for Georgia’s equaliser won’t have done him any favours. A poor clearance at the start of the second half left Whelan in trouble, and Ireland were lucky to see a free-kick awarded against Georgia. 5
Seamus Coleman – Bypassed in the first half as most of Georgia’s best play came down the Irish left and Coleman’s team-mates failed to be on the same wavelength going forward. One excellent cross in the second half almost found the head of Jon Walters, and the Everton star defended reasonably well when he had to. 6
Marc Wilson – Nervous. Was outmuscled by Gelashvili in the first half as the Georgian’s shot fizzed across goal. A worrying lack of composure for someone seemingly nailed on for a centre-back slot. Richard Keogh is waiting in the wings. 4
John O’Shea – Normally so composed playing out of defence, he was guilty of finding a Georgian player with most of his passes in the first half. Wasn’t helped by the likes of Whelan and McCarthy, however. 4
Stephen Ward – Disappointing in the first half as he frequently lost his man in tandem with Wilson. His distribution left much to be desired, with one hoof forward from a Whelan pass spoiling a good attacking opportunity for Ireland. His presence is a reflection of the lack of depth in the Ireland squad. 4
Jon Walters – Worked well and his physicality indirectly brought about McGeady’s goal. Got himself stupidly booked in the first half for arguing with the referee, however. Was quiet in the second half. 5
James McCarthy – Playing often with his back to the opposition goal, McCarthy could not spark any attacking Irish play. Still looks far too cautious in an Irish shirt, the lack of quality around him producing a lifeless performance. Improved in the second half, however. 6
Glenn Whelan – In the Ireland team to break up the opposition play and pass the ball no farther than five or ten yards. Did nothing hugely wrong but lacks the composure to ever affect the game positively. 5
Stephen Quinn – His first meaningful start for Ireland and the Hull player did well. Crisp passing and urgency were married to a tendency to give the ball away, but he never stopped trying to win the ball back. Replaced by Robbie Brady after a good shift. 7
Aiden McGeady – Ireland’s best player, despite some sloppy play, and took his goals well. McGeady showed composure where others rushed the ball and his goals alone made this his most telling performance in an Irish jersey by far. 8.5
Robbie Keane – Quiet in the first half, a fine dummy for McGeady’s goal aside, but came into proceedings more as the game went on without threatening the goal once. Replaced by Shane Long with 15 minutes remaining. 6
Shane Long – Anonymous is his short time on the pitch.
Robbie Brady – Failed to get into the rhythm of a match in which there really was no rhythm at all.
David Meyler – Only on for the closing seconds.