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28.03.2003 at 16:00 Boris Paichadze National Stadium - Tbilisi Attendance:
Georgia 1 - 1 Under 21
Referee: Janos Megyebiro (Hungary) European Qualifier / PROG-match

Akhalaia 19 Noel Hunt (84)
Opening squads
Zurab Mamaladze (GK)
Sergi Orbeladze
George Tsimakuridze
Lasha Salukvadze
Ilia Kandelaki
Teimuraz Burnadze
George Mantskave
David Siradze
Lado Akhalaia
Malkhaz Asatiani (C)
Mikheil Bobokhidze
Graham Stack
Stephen Paisley
Paul Tierney
James Goodwin
Stephen Brennan
John Thompson
Sean Thornton
Wesley Hoolahan
Andy Reid
Liam Miller
Johnathan Daly
Manuchari Ivardava (GK)
Giorgi Purtseladze
Georgi Dekanosidze
Irakli Samkharadze
Irakli Modebadze
David Gamezardashvili
Lasha Tchelidze
Joseph Murphy
Clifford Byrne
J J Melligan
Graham Ward
Kevin O Connor
Noel Hunt
Samkharadze for Asatiani 77 mins,
Dekanosidze for Bobokhidze 83 mins,
Clifford Byrne -> Paul Tierney (46)
Noel Hunt -> Wesley Hoolahan (73)
Kevin O Connor -> John Thompson (81)
Yellow cards
Orbeladze 32 mins,
Tsimakuridze 86 mins,
Red cards
None Andy Reid (33)
Other statistics
0 Shots 0
0 Shots on goal 0
0 Offsides 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Free kicks 0
0 Penalties 0
Match report
Georgia 1 Ireland 1

A furious Don Givens yesterday described the performance of Hungarian referee Janos Megyebiro as “a disgrace” and promised to press the FAI to officially complain to UEFA at the standard he set after this drawn game in the U21 European Championship in Tbilisi.

Givens’ attitude was justified because Megyebiro failed to officiate properly throughout the game and his many mis-judgments left a lot to be desired.

The fact that he sent off Andrew Reid for a second yellow card in the 33rd minute was incidental to a performance that was simply not good enough. The manner in which he mishandled the Reid situation was indicative of his inadequacies. He booked Reid along with Georgia’s defender Orbeladze when the Irishman attempted to pull the ball out of his opponents’ hands to take a free kick. When Reid then took the free the
referee showed him the second yellow and the red, presumably because he did not wait for the official to pace out the 10 yards. The ridiculous attitude he showed in that instance was highlighted when he totally ignored a similar move by Georgia in the second half when they took a free on the edge of the Irish box instantly, without waiting for a whistle or an intervention by the official.

Reid will now miss Ireland’s match against Albania on Tuesday. Givens suggested he might appeal the automatic suspension, but will now wait to see what the referee in his report says of the sending-off before deciding on any appeal.

A player shown a red card must serve at least a one-match suspension. The more pertinent point to be made about what Givens’ described as a “hometown” decision is that Ireland’s seniors need to guard against offering their referee any opportunity to be influenced in favour of the home side tonight.

The referee for the senior game is Kyros Vassaras (Greece), who did not impress when he took charge of the Champions’ League match between Valencia and Arsenal last week.

Ireland did well to draw with Croatia on a pitch that was unfit for football. It was bumpy to the point of being dangerous. Akhalaia gave Croatia the lead after 19 minutes following a free needlessly conceded by Ireland’s goalkeeper. The equaliser came when Noel Hunt headed in after 84 minutes.

IRELAND: Stack (Arsenal); Brennan (Newcastle), Goodwin (Stockport), Paisley (Man City), Tierney (Man Utd/Carlisle) (Byrne, Scunthorpe, 46); Thornton (Sunderland), Thompson (Notts Forest) (O’Connor Brentford 81), Miller (Celtic), Hoolahan (Shelbourne), Hunt (Dunfermline 73); Daly (Stockport), Reid (Nottingham Forest).

GEORGIA: Malaknadze, Orbelabze, Tsimakuridze, Salukvadze, Kandeliki, Burnadze, Mantskava, Siradze, Akhalaia, Asatiani, Bobokhibze.

Referee: Janos Megyebiro (Hungary)
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