Georgia 1-2 Republic of Ireland
- Martin O'Neill's first competitive game in charge
- McGeady scores twice in his 70th international appearance
- Okriashvili's goal had cancelled out McGeady's opener
A superb late winner from Aiden McGeady gave the Republic of Ireland a 2-1 win over Georgia in their opening European Championship qualifier in Tbilisi.
The Everton winger put the Irish ahead with a composed finish before Georgia equalised when Tornike Okriashvili's dipping shot flew into the top corner.
McGeady went close three times in the second half before he completed his double in the last minute.
A bending strike from 18 yards sneaked in to secure a last-gasp victory.
The Dinamo Arena encounter burst into life after an opening 20 minutes devoid of ideas and goalmouth action.
Marc Wilson's mistake let in Nikoloz Gelashvili and his fierce strike was tipped behind by David Forde, who started ahead of veteran keeper Shay Given.
|Republic of Ireland's upcoming qualifiers|
|Gibraltar (home)||11 October 2014|
|Germany (away)||14 October 2014|
|Scotland (away)||14 November 2014|
Saba Kvirkvelia headed across goal from the resulting corner with Murtaz Daushvili failing to get a touch at the back-post.
The Republic made the breakthrough seconds later with Jon Walters flicking on and James McCarthy slipped in McGeady, who supplied a cool finish into the bottom corner.
Georgia were happy to sit deep and hit on the counter but the 23rd-minute opener sparked a more attacking approach.
The equaliser came on 38 minutes with Okriashvili twisting and turning before his dipping 20-yard strike hit the top corner as Forde stood motionless.
Georgia pressed after the break but they failed to trouble Forde and the Republic began to pose a threat at the other end.
McGeady was Ireland's dangerman and the Everton winger fired his 25-yard free-kick just wide after 57 minutes.
Republic skipper Robbie Keane wasted a good opportunity two minutes later by slicing wide at the back post from a lofted Walters cross.
McGeady saw a shot safely gathered by substitute keeper Roin Kvaskhvadze before he blasted over from 20 yards.
The Irish were struggling to create clear openings and a well organised but limited Georgia team were on course for a draw until McGeady struck in the final minute.
Instant control and a drag-back to create space was followed by a curling shot beyond the outstretched Kvaskhvadze and into the Georgia net.
- 1LoriaSubstituted forKvaskhvadzeat 45'minutes
- 6KhubutiaBooked at 48mins
- 16KvirkveliaBooked at 36mins
- 15OkriashviliSubstituted forMchedlidzeat 88'minutes
- 8DaushviliBooked at 83mins
- 10AnanidzeSubstituted forTargamadzeat 63'minutes
R. of Ireland
- 14WaltersBooked at 36mins
- 18QuinnSubstituted forBradyat 76'minutes
- 8McCarthySubstituted forMeylerat 90+1'minutes
- 10KeaneSubstituted forLongat 76'minutes
- Kevin Blom
- Shots on Target