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Live Commentary: Republic of Ireland 1-0 Georgia - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifying win over Georgia in Dublin.
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The Republic of Ireland boosted their chances of reaching Euro 2016 after consolidating third place in Group D with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Georgia in Dublin tonight.

Jonathan Walters bundled a Jeff Hendrick cross home on 68 minutes as Martin O'Neill's men opened up a four-point gap between fourth-placed Scotland, who lost 3-2 to Germany in Glasgow.

Below, relive the drama with our live commentary.


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Let's be honest - the Republic of Ireland have been given a gift; one that could either turn out to be a pack of white Dunlop socks, or a Playstation 7, which dispenses Nandos' wings. Either way they have been given a gift and it is up to them what it is. Georgia's shock 1-0 victory over Scotland on Friday has renewed Irish optimism of finishing third in Group D - but the Boys in Green must now avoid the same banana skin as Kakhaber Tskhadadze's side (thank god this is a text commentary) come to Dublin hoping to spring another surprise. If anybody from Sony is tuning in - feel free to use that idea above.

By 9.45pm, it is not inconceivable that the Irish could be FOUR points ahead of fourth-placed Scotland in the race to finish third. Victory over these slippery Georgians, coupled with Germany beating the Scots in Glasgow, would see Martin O'Neill's boys clasp one hand on a playoff berth ahead of the final two qualifiers.

That being said, Ireland's last two games come home to Germany - who lead Group D - and away to second-placed Poland. It'll certainly be far from easy, but finishing third is definitely in Ireland's hands, my friends.

Team news? Why not. But while I get things sorted, and manually count the amount of changes, serenade yourself with this.

REP OF IRELAND XI: Given; Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Brady; Hendrick, Whelan, McCarthy, Hoolahan; Keane, Walters

GEORGIA XI: Revishvilli; Lobzhandize, Kverkvelia, Kashia; Amisulashvili, Khizanishvili, Navalovsky, Kankava; Kazaishvili, Okriashvili, McHedlidze

Right, so just the one change for the Irish, with Cyrus Christie - who opened the scoring against Gibraltar - dropping out at right-back for Seamus Coleman. Robbie Keane and Walters spearhead the attack once more, while Jeff Hendrick and Wes Hoolahan remain on the wing in favour of Aiden McGeady and James McLean. Also one change for the visitors, with Zhano Ananidze dropping out of midfield for veteran Zurab Khizanishvili.

Ever wonder what the D stands for in Group D? Danger! That's straight from Michel Platini. Asked what the D stood for, Platini told reliablequotes.com: "Danger". There we have it. So, which player(s) bring the most peril for their respective team? Let's find out.

For Ireland, there can only be one, right? Indeed, it has to be Robbie Keane. With five goals in qualifying, the LA Galaxy marksman is Ireland's leading goalscorer in qualifying - and overall. On Friday, the veteran striker struck twice against Gibraltar to bring his international tally to 67 - one shy of Gerd Muller's Germany record. Actually, Keano is the most prolific active player in world football. Ignore the fact that all five of his goals have come against Gibraltar.

On to Georgia now and midfielder Tornike Okriashvili, with two goals, is their leading marksmen in qualifying thus far. He scored against the Irish in the curtain-raiser precisely one year ago today, having also scored in a 3-0 win away to Gibraltar back in October. He'll need to be watched tonight. Jaba Kankava, Valeri Kazaishvili - who broke Scottish hearts on Friday - and Nikoloz Gelashvili are the only other Georgians to find the net in this campaign.

Have you ever wondered what the actual odds are of an away win tonight? I have, so I checked. If you're feeling brave, you'll pick up 13/2 on Georgia to upset their Irish counterparts. If you're not gambling savvy - that means if you stake £2 you lose £2 basically.

DID YOU KNOW? Speaking of good bets, chew on this my friends: did you know that these two have faced off five times in competitive action - and FOUR of those finished 2-1 to Ireland? Historically, they tend to be quite closely-fought affairs. The only one that did not finish 2-1 was back in 2003, when Gary Doherty and Robbie Keane scored to seal a 2-0 win.

PREDICTION: Right, let's do what we always do - and get a prediction wrong. Contrary to the fact it's clearly going to be 2-1, I'm going for 3-1 win tonight. Jon Walters will score. When? No idea. How? No idea? From where? No idea. But he will score. At least one.

Michael Cuddy may have a point. After all, McGeady did score both in the reverse fixture in Tbilisi. Having said that, O'Neill has been around this game a while now. We reckon he knows what he's doing.


Bob seems to have found the shape of Ireland in the form of a chicken goujon. I see a grizzly bear myself. Tilt your head sideways, look at the nose and tell me that isn't a bear.


Oh snap. The gauntlet has been thrown down.


A nice sentiment from the lads stateside, but mispelling a four-letter word is a jkoe.


Some good points being made by the Ireland fans tonight it has to be said - and this is the best one of the lot.


Anywho, we're just about five minutes from kickoff now. Get the dinner out of the oven because we won't wait. Nope. This is game is bigger than you. It's bigger than me. It's bigger than any one man or woman. Calling it a must-win doesn't cut it. Join us in a few short minutes to see what happens!

KICKOFF! Massive game for the Irish. We're off. Georgia, playing from left to right in this half, get us underway

Brady's loose ball back to the centre-halves is intercepted by Mchedlidze deep in Ireland's half, but it eventually comes to nothing. Georgia started well. Ireland looking nervous. Brady does, anyway.

Another dodgy ball by Brady across for Seamus Coleman sees Ireland concede a needless corner, which then comes to nothing. I'll tell you something - Brady looks shaky. He was superb in Faro on Friday, but a tenuous start to this one.

CHANCE! Ireland beginning to settle and this is a chance. A big one. Hoolahan and Walters exchange a slick one-two on the left-hand side, with the latter dropping a ball into the box for Keane, who chest its down and fires over the bar with his left foot. Tough chance, but a chance nonetheless.

It's end to end stuff here in Dublin, with Ciaran Clark pulling off an excellent block to take the sting off Levan Mchedlidze's shot. At the other end, Coleman does superbly to salvage Hoolahan's poor cross-field ball, but the right-back's ball to McCarthy on the edge of the box is poor.

CHANCE! This isn't a foregone conclusion in the slightest, as Levan Mchedlidze goes through again but, on his right foot, his final effort was tame and rolls into the arms of Given. Georgia started really, really well.

Good build-up by the Irish, who knock the ball around nicely, but Georgia are defending really well so far. It's been really good by the visitors so far.

Ireland fans beginning to get a little irked now I think. We're only 19 minutes in but you can feel there's a major tension among the fans.

UPDATE - Scotland 0-1 Germany (Muller) That'll make the Irish fans feel a little better now. As it stands Ireland are two points clear of the Scots in fourth - but it could be four if they beat Georgia.

Whelan swings in a decent corner, but good goalkeeping by Revishvili sees the Georgia stopper punch away. Not going to plan this at all for Ireland at the moment. 23 minutes in and Georgia definitely the better team.

SHOT! We said Georgia the better team, and Okriashvili's overhead, yes OVERHEAD, trickles wide of Shay Given's goal. Is this Georgia or Brazil?

Now then. Ciaran Clark, the defender, plays a wonderful over the top ball for Keane, who is onside, but he slips as he runs on to it. Ireland getting stronger. Slowly but surely they're getting better. Much better.

UPDATE - Scotland 1-1 Germany (Maloney) Bad news for Ireland as Shaun Maloney equalises in Glasgow!

Right, we're 12 minutes from the break and our pre-match prediction of 3-1 is looking very, very optimistic indeed. Ireland are struggling up front big time. They need a boost of creativity.

UPDATE - Scotland 1-2 Germany (Muller) The pendulum in Glasgow swings the way of the Irish again, as Muller picks up his double!

WHAT A HIT! Seamus Coleman's fine volley on the edge of the box draws an equally-fine save from the Georgia stopper as Ireland win a corner, which comes to nothing. Although they didn't score, it'll give Ireland a huge boost of confidence. Let's face it - they need it.

Five minutes until the break and, being honest, I can see a goal before half time. It's got that sense to it. From whom? Lord only knows, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the hosts open the scoring in the next few minutes.

Really poor cross from Coleman and it's comfortably gathered by the Georgia stopper. Maybe I was wrong about there being a goal before the break. #ReversePsychology

HALF TIME: Ireland 0-0 Georgia

Well, that was pretty poor overall. Georgia started the better but Ireland settled and grew more dangerous as the minutes ticked on. We should've seen one goal at least. Both sides missed decent chances.

Incidentally, Scotland have only gone and equalised again and it's 2-2 in Glasgow! What a game that looks to be. It's also half time there.

RESTART! And we're back underway - and O'Neill has yanked Keane off for Shane Long. Big, big move that. Keane didn't seem injured.

Not a bad ball from Coleman and it drops just wide of the post in the end. How many have we seen those fly in? O'Neill will either the hero or villain after that Keane switch.

SHOT! Very much as you were in this half from Georgia, as Tornike Okriashvili bends an effort well wide of the goal now, but it's a warning sign that Ireland need to heed.

Hendrick has switched to the left wing and he's not doing much it has to be said. He doesn't have the same understanding with Brady that, say, Hoolahan or McGeady does. McGeady scored twice against this mob one year ago to the day, by the way.

UPDATE - Scotland 2-3 Germany I bring you good news from Glasgow, as Germany move 3-2 ahead. Although with the pattern in that game, don't be surprised if it doesn't stay like that for long.

SHOT! Better from Ireland, as Coleman's direct running produces a bit of hope, before his tame shot is straight at the Georgia stopper. Better, but not by much.

Zurab Khizanishvili looks a little like Frank Lebouef, and he's playing like him. He's been outstanding tonight, and this is excellent as he nicks a certain goal away from Walters by heading away before the Stoke man can head home. Fine intervention.

SAVE! Decent save by the Georgia stopper again as he palms Hendrick's deflected shot out for a corner, which comes to nothing. Ireland turning the screw. Watch this space.

SHOT! Brady is excellent since the break, and another of his crosses is punched by the Georgia keeper, but it only reaches McCarthy, who volleys high and wide over from a difficult angle.

SUB: Georgia make their first sub as Papunashvili replaces Kazaishvili, who scored the winner against Scotland the other night.

GOAL! Ireland 1-0 Georgia (Jon Walters)

Huge, huge moment in this qualification campaign from Hendrick, who does absolutely brilliantly to ride a couple of challenges before playing in Walters, who bundles the ball home from point-blank range. Massive!

There's more goals in this now for Ireland, whose tails are well and firmly up. They might need a second, too, because Georgia have looked threatening at times.

BOOKING: Silly from Glenn Whelan, who talks himself into a yellow card for dissent. He misses the visit of Germany here on October 8.

SUB: Ireland make their second sub now as Wes Hoolahan makes way for James McLean.

BOOKING: Oh my word what is McLean thinking? He goes flying into a tackle straight away and now he'll also miss the visit of Germany. He was on the field less than a minute.

CHANCE! Very nearly 2-0 to the hosts, as McLean's low cross looks certain to be tapped home by Long, but a red shirt is in the way.

Right, nine minutes to go and, as it stands, Ireland are on course to earn a four-point lead over fourth-placed Scotland a playoff place now looks within reach. But nothing is won yet. It's the biggest last 10 minutes of a game they've had for quite a while.

Mchedlidze now lies relatively lifeless on the ground. Don't worry he's not dead - although you wouldn't have known he was alive in this half - but he does seem poorly. Problem is, Georgia don't have any more subs.

Georgia will finish with at most 10 men because Mchedlidze can't continue unfortunately. Not that O'Neill is a sadist or anything, but seeing another man deeply in pain will be like music to his ears.

UPDATE! Still 3-2 to Germany in Glasgow! We're into the final minutes there and here.

THREE MINUTES ADDED ON:

FULL TIME: Republic of Ireland 1-0 Georgia

And they've made it over the finish line! Walters was born in Britain but he's never been more Irish than he is now. He inspires Ireland to a very, very hard-fought 1-0 win over Georgia to boost their hopes of reaching Euro 2016. They go FOUR points clear of Scotland, who lost 3-2 to Germany. Brave effort but not enough and third place is definitely Ireland's to lose now! Huge. Anywho, that's us. Thanks for joining our commentary and we'll see you next time please god. Until then....

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Cyrus Christie of Republic of Ireland celebrates with teammates after scoring Ireland's 1st goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier between Gibraltar and Republic of Ireland at Estadio Algarve on September 4, 2015 in Faro, Portugal.
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