EURO 2020: Qualification hopes still alive as Irish play out dull draw in Georgia
By COLIN BARTLEY
THE Republic of Ireland soccer team’s chances of qualifying for Euro 2020 remains within their grasp after drawing 0-0 with Georgia in Tbilisi.
It could have been so much different. Ireland’s best chance of the match came after three minutes when a John Egan’s header from a Conor Hourihane free-kick hit the inside of the post and remarkably came back out into play.
After that, Ireland found it very hard to create another opening until the 89th minute. Aaron Connolly, just on as a substitute, made the Georgian keeper make a sharp save, then moments later the young Galway striker shot just wide.
With the last play of the game, Shane Duffy’s header from a corner was saved on the line, and that was it.
Up to that point Georgia created more without ever really troubling Irish keeper, Darren Randolph.
Ireland now top the group with 12 points, three points ahead of Denmark who have played a game less, and four ahead of Switzerland who have two games in hand.
Denmark face Switzerland this evening, and Ireland will be hoping for a draw or possibly a Swiss win. This would see Ireland’s chances of making the finals next year, where games will be held in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, remain in their own hands.
Ireland now travel to Geneva to face Switzerland on Tuesday in a huge game where losing isn’t an option.
Kilkenny’s Seanie Maguire was an unused sub.