Shota Arveladze scored a hat-trick as Georgia overpowered the Faroe Islands to get their UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying campaign off to the best of starts with a memorable 6-0 victory in Toftir.
Georgia lost the corresponding fixture in UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying 4-1 to Switzerland but there was never going to be a repeat once Jaba Kankava and Aleksandr Iashvili had opened up a two-goal lead inside the first 19 minutes. Georgian success usually centres on Arveladze, however, and he made his mark, scoring twice either side of Levan Kobiashvili's penalty soon after half-time. Still the visitors pressed and Arveladze completed his haul with a low strike with eight minutes remaining.
The win stands Georgia in good stead ahead of their next Group B encounter, against France on 2 September, and they could provide a shock if they start as they did in the Faroes. Kankava curled in a stunning right-footed opener on 16 minutes and their defence breached, the hosts struggled to stem the tide. Iashvili doubled the advantage from inside the penalty box but the visitors did not rest on their cushion.
Arveladze punished some sloppy defending to make it three eight minutes before the break, and by the time he added a carbon copy just after the hour, Kobiashvili had converted from the spot following Atli Danielsen's foul on David Mujiri. The Faroe Islands enjoyed a brief revival in the last half-hour but the final word was Arveladze's, giving coach Jógvan Martin Olsen much to ponder ahead of his team's trip to Scotland at the beginning of September.