Mick McCarthy expressed satisfaction with the point gained from a scoreless draw with Georgia in this Saturday afternoon’s crucial European Championship qualifier played in the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena.
There was little to excite in a pretty poor contest with neither side showing very much invention. The hosts had the greater share of possession but their few efforts on goal were wayward and Darren Randolph did not have a single shot to save.
Ireland came closest to scoring after four minutes when John Egan‘s header from a Conor Hourihane free kick struck the post. There was a second half chance for Jeff Hendrick but be hit the side netting from an acute angle.
Central defensive duo Shane Duffy and John Egan were Ireland’s best performers while late debutant substitute Aaron Connolly looked the part and had two efforts in his 16 minute cameo appearance.
Team; Darren Randolph; Seamus Coleman(C), Shane Duffy, John Egan, Matt Doherty; Jeff Hendrick, Glenn Whelan, Conor Hourihane; Callum Robinson, James Collins, James McClean
Alan Browne for Robinson 73′
Aaron Connolly for Collins 78′
Derrick Williams for Hourihane 90′ +2′
Later this afternoon, Denmark scored a late winner to defeat Switzerland in Copenhagen.
P W D L F A G/D Pts
Ireland 6 3 3 0 6 2 4 12
Denmark 6 3 3 0 16 5 11 12
Switzerland 5 2 2 1 10 5 5 8
Georgia 6 1 2 3 4 8 -4 5
Gibraltar 5 0 0 5 0 16 -16 0
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph(Middlesbrough), Kieran O’Hara(Burton Albion on loan from Manchester United), Mark Travers(AFC Bournemouth)
Defenders: Seamus Coleman(Everton), Matt Doherty(Wolverhampton Wanderers), Shane Duffy(Brighton & Hove Albion), John Egan(Sheffield United), Kevin Long(Burnley), *Enda Stevens(Sheffield United), Derrick Williams(Blackburn Rovers)
Midfielders: Alan Browne(Preston North End), Jack Byrne(Shamrock Rovers), Josh Cullen(Charlton Athletic on loan from West Ham United), Jeff Hendrick(Burnley), Conor Hourihane(Aston Villa), Alan Judge(Ipswich Town), James McClean(Stoke City), Callum O’Dowda(Bristol City), Glenn Whelan(Heart of Midlothian)
Forwards: James Collins(Luton Town), Scott Hogan(Stoke City on loan from Aston Villa), Sean Maguire(Preston North End), Callum Robinson(Sheffield United), Aaron Connolly(Brighton & Hove Albion)
* Suspended for the Georgia match