Georgia come close to denying Spain two points in football World Cup qualifier

The Georgian team led the game until the 56th minute and had been on course to take a point from the fixture until the 93rd. Photo via Georgian Football Federation., 29 Mar 2021 - 15:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's national football team came close to denying Spain two points in a second round fixture of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, after the visiting team left Tbilisi with a 2-1 win only thanks to a stoppage-time goal from Dani Olmo.

The 93rd minute goal by the striker earned Spain a comeback win after Georgia - in manager Willy Sagnol's second match in charge - led through the 44th minute strike by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

The goal by the No. 18 of the Georgian team was the finishing touch of a counterattack set up by the hosts, and allowed them to lave the pitch after the first half with a lead.

The score held until the 56th minute when Ferran Torres converted a cross by Jordi Alba to equalise. Georgia assumed a counterattacking style for much of the second half and the game seemed destined for a draw before Olmo scored with a long-range effort deep into extra time.

Watch the post-match press conference of Georgia's team manager Willy Sagnol below:

In his post-match comments Sagnol cited lack of playing minutes in some of his players for their respective clubs as a possible factor for their tiredness in the closing stages of the game, speaking of a "big lack of energy".

The players are showing every day, whether in training or when we have meetings <...> a lot of interest, a lot of enthusiasm, and I am very happy to work with them, and I am sure we are going to recover, we are going to recover quick."

- Willy Sagnol, team manager for Georgia

Nevertheless the new manager stressed he was "very proud" of the team's overall performance, while also speaking of a "tough start" for his schedule at the team, with a condensed training and game schedule since the opening round of qualifiers against Sweden last Thursday, which Georgia lost 1-0.

Georgia will face Greece in their next game of Group B of the qualifiers on Wednesday, with the fixture to be played in Thesalloniki. Sagnol's team are currently fourth in the group but will move up to third if they defeat the Greek squad. Kosovo are last in the group with 0 points, same as Georgia.

The game against Spain was played in front of about 15,000 spectators who were allowed on Dinamo Arena stands with special Covid regulations.