Republic of Ireland beat Georgia 2-1 in their opening FIFA World Cup Group 8 match to give Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni a winning start in his first competitive match.

Kevin Doyle headed the Republic ahead on 13 minutes in the game which was played on neutral territory following the bloody conflict which erupted in Georgia last month.

A mistake by goalkeeper Giorgi Loria gifted the second goal to Glenn Whelan on 70 minutes before Levan Kenia gave Georgia a late consolation.

It wasn't the most convincing win by Republic of Ireland, who are in the same group as defending champions Italy, and they were fortunate to see Alexander Iashvili miss an easy chance to score for Georgia just before half-time.