Aaron Connolly: Republic of Ireland debut was a proud moment but I should have scored

Aaron Connolly made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland against Georgia
Aaron Connolly made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland against Georgia

The 79th minute introduction of Brighton striker Aaron Connolly provided the highlights in an otherwise dull encounter as Republic of Ireland drew 0-0 in Georgia.

It was so nearly a dream international debut for Connolly, 19, who added much-needed energy to Ireland's attack in this European Qualifier in Tbilisi.

Moments after coming on, the Albion man ran on to a loose ball and his low shot forced the home keeper to make a smart save. He also had another chance soon after but his effort found the side netting.

His Albion teammate Shane Duffy - who recovered from a calf injury in time to play - also had a late opportunity but his header was straight at the keeper.

Ireland remain top of Group D with 12 points from six games.

Connolly said, "Disappointing not to win. As a striker you have to score, it is a bit gutting not to put the ball in the back of the net but we go on to Tuesday now.

"I got two chances and probably should have put one of them away. It is a good overall performance and we will take a point.

"I wouldn’t say I was nervous I was excited, it is international debut, the proudest moment you can achieve.

"We could have won, we could have lost. We have a big game on Tuesday and all to play for.

Was his impressive cameo enough for him to warrant a place in the starting XI for Switzerland on Tuesday?

"That is up to the gaffer," said Connolly. "I just went out to try and put in a performance."