Georgia factfile and how we fared in our last six clashes

SoccerBy Sunday World
Aiden McGeady celebrates after that goal against Georgia
Aiden McGeady celebrates after that goal against Georgia

Ireland have regularly faced Georgia in recent qualifying campaigns. Here is a run down of how we fared plus a few handy facts on tonight's opponents.

Georgia 1 Ireland 2


Brian Kerr’s first competitive match as manager ended in a Tbilisi win in a very hostile atmosphere with the Irish players being bombarded with coins and blades whenever they came close to the touchline. The ‘Ginger Pele’ Gary Doherty got the winner with an 83rd-minute header.

Ireland 2 Georgia 0


Doherty scored again, along with Robbie Keane, as Ireland did the double over the Georgians in Lansdowne Road. It was a routine win that set up Kerr’s side for a late, but futile, run at reaching Euro 2004.

Georgia 1 Ireland 2


Again it was a first competitive game for an Irish manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, and it was in Mainz in Germany because Georgia were not allowed to host the match. Kevin Doyle and Glenn Whelan scored for Ireland.

Ireland 2 Georgia 1


Georgia took a shock lead in the first minute in Croke Park. And a struggling Ireland only reeled in the Georgians when given a soft penalty with 15 minutes to go. Robbie Keane converted it and then got a vital winner with a header.

Georgia 1 Ireland 2


Forever to be remembered as ‘the Aiden McGeady match’. The winger scored both goals in Tbilisi as Ireland set off with a win on the road to Euro 2016. But the late winner from McGeady will always be remembered for turning a decent point into three precious ones.

Ireland 1 Georgia 0


Yet again, the Georgians were stubborn opponents in a qualifier as Ireland craved the win in a really tough group. Stoke City’s Jon Walters got the vital goal with 20 minutes left after a fine piece of skill from Jeff Hendrick down the left wing. 

Who is their head coach?

Former Slovakia national team boss Vladimir Weiss took over in March, as he replaced Kakhaber Tskhadadze. An opening 2-1 home defeat against Austria in his first competitive match as boss last month was not the ideal start.

Who is their star player?

Dinamo Tbilisi striker Lado Dvalishvili is their leading marksman, he has the class to take the fleeting chances that may come his way in Dublin on Thursday.

Georgia’s finest hour...

Their 1-0 win against Scotland in the crucial Euro 2016 qualifier last year was pivotal to opening a door for Ireland to make it through to the finals in France last summer. 

Did you know that…

Joseph Stalin was born in what is now Georgia. He is the most famous name to hail from this part of the world, unless you count sumo wrestlers and chess players as celebrities.

Is there an Irish pub in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi?

Of course. MacLarens’s Irish pub. As was the case for the Euro 2016 qualifier, expect this venue to be overcrowded when Ireland travel for the away leg of their World Cup qualifier against Georgia next September.