Georgia kicked off their 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign with a 1-0 victory against Croatia in Group 5.
Georgia started the game in a positive manner and were ahead after five minutes thanks to Tornike Tarkhnishvili's superb strike from 25 metres. Croatia failed to create any clear-cut chances in a poor first half and despite a marked improvement after the break, Ante Vukušić's effort, which was well saved by Giorgi Makaridze in the Georgia goal, was as close as the hosts came to an equaliser.
Georgia's early dominance was swiftly rewarded thanks to Tarkhnishvili's unstoppable strike. Otar Gabelia's side continued to frustrate Croatia, who were far from their fluent best in the wet conditions.
Ivan Šušak's charges had to wait until the 72nd minute for their first notable attempt on goal, Vukušić testing the reflexes of Georgia keeper Makaridze, who saved brilliantly to deny the Croatia captain and maintain his side's advantage. Valeri Qazaishvili almost wrapped up the points for the visitors five minutes from time but Lovre Kalinić's fine save ensured the game finished 1-0.