Euro 2016: Georgia plays world-class football against Germany

Georgia’s efforts against world champions Germany was acknowledged by their opponents as well as national team coach Kakha Tskhadadze. Photo by Georgian Football Federation., 12 Oct 2015 - 15:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s national football team put on a fighting display against defending world champions Germany in their Euro 2016 qualifying match on Sunday in Leipzig, Germany.

The game ended with a score of 2-1 in Germany’s favour through a late goal and a penalty but after the final whistle, Georgia’s efforts to quash their opponent generated much praise after the match from officials, fans and the opposition itself.

National team coach Kakha Tskhadadze’s players spared no effort in attack or defence as they faced the fearsome opponent, making sure the German’s worked hard to win the match and ensure their qualification for next year’s tournament in France.

Tskhadadze praised his players for their tough performance, noting he had treated the game as a marker of progress for his team.

I am proud of my players because they performed with honour against the current world champions. I can think of no other team that has had so many chances to score against Germany during the qualifying round,” Tskhadadze told reporters at the official post-match press conference.

The Georgian team’s efforts were lauded by their opponents, with Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer stating he had been kept on top of his game during the match.

I had to be very alert today. It felt like we didn't play against Georgia but rather against Italy or Spain given how many chances they had,” Neuer admitted.

Georgia’s Jaba Kankava celebrates scoring a spectacular volley against Germany to level the score. Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

At the other end of the pitch, Georgia’s goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili was a standout performer of the match, showing his talent right from the start of the match beginning with a save from striker Thomas Müller in the third minute and continuing to make ten other crucial saves throughout the first half.

The German hosts had the majority of possession and were ahead shortly after the restart as Georgian player Jaba Kankava tripped Mesut Özil for a penalty, to which Müller kicked the ball past Revishvili’s left in the 50thminute.

But Georgia fought back and soon levelled the score. Kankava took advantage of a loose ball following Georgia’s corner kick to score a brilliant volley three minutes later.

Both teams squandered several goal opportunities and Georgia appeared to be keeping Germany at bay until Germany’s Max Kruse took advantage of poor Georgian defending and scored in the 72nd minute.

The win meant Germany topped Group D and will now travel to France for the European Championship, while Georgia finished second from the bottom with three wins from ten matches.

Watch highlights for the Euro 2016 qualifying match between Germany and Georgia below: