For the guts of 85 minutes of this match, Ireland certainly didn’t look like winning against a dominant but ultimately toothless Georgia.
However, a late chance from debutant Aaron Connolly nearly gave Ireland all three points.
Ireland are top of the group with two games to play - starting with a tough tie in Switzerland on Tuesday.
Darren Randolph 6
The stats will say the goalkeeper claimed his fourth clean sheet in six qualifying Group matches so far. In truth, the Bray native had very little do. He didn’t have a save of note to make through the entire match.
Seamus Coleman 6 Wore the captain's from right back a day after his 31st birthday. But the Everton defender didn’t get forward with any energy. Instead he had to grind out the work defensively.
Shane Duffy 7
After being doubtful with injury, the big Derry man started at the heart of the Irish rear-guard. Was willing to bring the back forward to try and create an attack. Saw his injury time header saved on the line by Loria.
John Egan 7
Ireland’s best player. With Richard Keogh out injured, the Sheffield United defender slotted in at centre half for his first competitive start. Almost broke the dead lock with a third minute header off. Looked comfortable and could have made the position his own with a fine display.
Matt Doherty 5
With Enda Stevens suspended, the Wolves player was chosen to start at left-back. But never got the opportunity to show his attacking qualities.
Glenn Whelan 5
Never got a foothold in the game. Wasn’t able to get involved by dropping back and linking defence to attack. Unable to press the Georgians back. Booked for a 65th minute tackle on Jano Kvilitaia.
Conor Hourihane 5
His set-pieces allow Ireland’s best chances to score. But wasn’t able to get involved in central midfield on a bobbly pitch. Like others, wasteful in possession. And didn’t close down the home team.
Jeff Hendrick 4
Unable to reproduce his club form at Burnley when wearing the Green jersey. Didn’t react quick enough to McClean’s early cross which Loria failed to deal with just after the restart. Didn’t get his body shape right with shot into the side netting with 15 minutes remaining.
Callum Robinson 5
Deployed on the right wing to support lone striker Collins. But spent more time in his own half defending rather than attacking. Never got forward to support James Collins. Taken off with 17 minutes remaining.
James McClean 5
Constantly gave away possession. No question of effort. But no end product. One mazy run to the by-line and then just missed Robinson’s tempting cross in the first period.
James Collins 5
After scoring in the friendly against Bulgaria, the big Luton centre-forward led the attack with David McGoldrick out inured. Conceded several fouls and lucky not to be booked for first half foul on Gia Grigalava. But lacked attacking service from midfield team mates. Withdrawn with 11 minutes to go.
Alan Browne 5 (for Robinson 73 mins)
Had very little time to make an impact in the middle of the park.
Aaron Connolly 7 (for Collins 79 mins)
Irish debut for the Brighton youngster. Showed he was sharp with a 90th minute low drive saved by Loria. Then flashed an injury time shot into the side netting.
Derrick Williams (for Hourihane 90 + 3)
No on long enough to mark.
Georgia: Giorgi Loria; Otar Kakabadze, Guram Kashia, Gia Grigalava, Jemal Tabidze; Jaba Kankava, Otar Kiteishvili (Giorgi Aburjaniaat 90), Tornike Okriashvili (Elguja Lobjanidze 79), Jano Kvilitaia, Valeri Qazaishvili; Giorgi Kvilitaia (Levan Shengelia 73).
Referee: Marco Guida (Italy).