Georgia punish ten-man Luxembourg

Luxembourg 0-3 Georgia
Opening their qualifying Group 3 campaign, the visitors struck twice after Luxembourg were reduced to ten men on the hour.  

Georgia celebrate one of their three goals against Luxembourg
Georgia celebrate one of their three goals against Luxembourg ©Julien Garroy

Georgia consigned Luxembourg to a third consecutive defeat in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 3 as they started their campaign with victory in Esch-sur-Alzette.

Davit Skhirtladze's 18th-minute opener ruined the plans of home coach Reinhold Breu, who had set his team up to play on the counterattack. The AGF Aarhus forward showed impressive close control to retain possession before beating Luxembourg goalkeeper Luca Ivesic from long range.

Ken Corral was then denied by Giorgi Nadiradze following a solo run from inside the Luxembourg half and Dejvid Sinani struck a post with a free-kick. However, if those scares for Georgia hinted that the visitors could not rest easy, the hosts' task became that much steeper when Dwayn Holter was dismissed on the hour for a second bookable offence.

With that, Georgia put the result beyond doubt. Mamuka Kobakhidze doubled the lead on 72 minutes, capitalising on Luxembourg's failure to deal with a free-kick from captain Nika Kvekveskiri. Six minutes later, the impressive Giorgi Chanturia floated a free-kick beyond Ivesic for a goal his performance merited.