Friday 9 December 2016

Draw leaves Georgia with massive task

Georgia 1 Moldova 1

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Published 13/11/2016 | 02:30

Moldova’s defender Ion Jardan heads the ball away under pressure from Giorgi Navalovski. Photo: Getty
Moldova’s defender Ion Jardan heads the ball away under pressure from Giorgi Navalovski. Photo: Getty

Georgia and Moldova played out a 1-1 draw in Tbilisi last night, ensuring the Group D outsiders would not make a move to threaten the fancied sides battling for top spot.

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As Ireland were securing a deserved win against Austria in Vienna, Valeri Qazaishvili gave Georgia a first half lead in a game they would have been expecting to win.

Georgia's defender Giorgi Navalovski (L) challenges Moldova's defender Ion Jardan. Photo: Getty
Georgia's defender Giorgi Navalovski (L) challenges Moldova's defender Ion Jardan. Photo: Getty

Yet a 78th minute equaliser from Moldova's Alexandru Gatcan gave the his team a valuable point.

While Georgia dominated possession in a tightly contested game, Moldova created some big chances and they may feel they were worthy of a point that was their first of the World Cup qualifying push.

It leaves Georgia a massive eight points behind the Group D pacesetters, with the side that took a point from Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales last month failing to build on that battling performance.

The Georgians could still have a key role to play in the outcome of a group that is likely to have a few twists and turns before the automatic qualifying spot is settled, with Ireland set to travel to Tbilisi in a tricky away game next September.

Georgia's forward Giorgi Chanturia (C) challenges Moldova's midfielder Alexandru Gatcan. Photo: Getty
Georgia's forward Giorgi Chanturia (C) challenges Moldova's midfielder Alexandru Gatcan. Photo: Getty

Georgia will play Serbia in their next qualifier in March, with Moldova set to take on Austria in Vienna.

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