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Martin O'Neill gets very touchy over questions about Ireland's football

Martin O'Neill gets very touchy over questions about Ireland's football

However, not only did they not build upon it, but turned in so abject a first-half display that Valeri Kazaishvili's 34th-minute equaliser was the least the Georgians deserved on a night when they played by far the better technical football.

With the game just four minutes old, Ireland couldn't have been handed a bigger gift as Duffy's opening goal came as a result of a calamitous misjudgement by the home goalkeeper Giorgi Makaridze.

In the keeper's defence, he was impeded by the arm of the arriving Ciaran Clark but Makaridze should never have attempted to retrieve the ball in the first place.

"I was really disappointed with the first and second half", continued the midfielder who only really showed glimpses of what had been wanted from him in the minutes before he was replaced by Aiden McGeady.

Makaridze ensured the scores stayed level at the break with a brilliant reflex save just before half-time when Duffy met Robbie Brady's corner with a far-post header.

But their advantage would only last half an hour as the hosts pegged them back.

Both sides are now five points behind the second-placed Irish with a game in hand.

The goal would have been regarded as a bonus for the visitors, but Georgia soon began to dictate the tempo and make Ireland chase the ball in the searing heat in Tbilisi.




Manager Martin O'Neill concurred that his side would have to improve ahead of Tuesday's fixture at the Aviva Stadium.

The second period began as the first ended with the home side playing with goal as Ireland remained clueless and unable to string a reasonable passage of play together. The introduction of Aiden McGeady saw Ireland add some pace to their game but in the end it mattered little. Republic of Ireland won one match, draw two matches and draw two matches.

And it was a McGeady charge out of his own half in the 71st minute that got this Ireland side moving again as he ran 50 yards with the ball as the Gerorgian defenders backpeddled.

Ireland have developed an unfortunate habit of failing to build on leads. But they're a good side.

Wes Hoolahan was left out despite being instrumental in the victor in Vienna.

The two full backs, Kakabadze and Navalowsky, were outstanding throughout, Kakabadze sending McClean to the shop before a great cross required fisting away by Randolph before Navalowsky began to have his way with Walters and Christie on the other side and send in some tantalising balls.

Although Ireland mounted some late attacks, they rarely threatened and the chances should have been coming thick and fast after the goal.

Duffy went close to restoring Ireland's lead on the cusp of half-time, but the visitors' performance thereafter was poor, with stray passes and a lack of bite in midfield allowing Georgia an easy ride as they picked up their fourth draw of the campaign.

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