Richard Keogh came into the Republic of Ireland's clash with Georgia with a broken finger but finished it saluting the performance of his team-mates and the noise from the stands as the Boys in Green stole a march on their rivals in Group D.

Denmark's incredible draw with Switzerland means Ireland top the table after two games, having followed up Saturday's win against Gibraltar with a 1-0 defeat of the Georgians in Dublin.

Having toiled against the same opposition a number of times in recent years, Mick McCarthy's men seized the initiative on home soil to eke out a deserved three points.

Spirits are high, and centre-half Keogh was happy to toast the role of the support on a good night for the Irish.

"The atmosphere was amazing," he said. "The fans were brilliant. We know they are the greatest fans in the world and when they get behind you there's no better feeling.

"It's still early days, we're just trying to take care of business.

"We can only control the controllables. It's tough. Nothing is easy and you've got to be willing to sacrifice everything to qualify for a tournament. You look at every man out there and that's what they're willing to do.

"My hand has been a bit of an issue but it's been getting better every day. We just crack on."

Richard Keogh removes a tennis ball from the pitch

A night that fizzed with energy form the off included bizarre scenes when the fans tossed tennis balls on the pitch in a protest aimed at former FAI CEO John Delaney.

For the team though, focus remains on the small matter of qualification for Euro 2020.

McCarthy has buoyed the squad and got the response he wanted. Now, the challenge is to sustain it.

"The manager thanked us for our efforts," added Keogh. "We got to know him, he got to know us. Training has been fantastic. 

"I thought we controlled the game. Even later in the second half when they had a lot of the ball I though we countered them very well. We could have easily scored two or three goals. They're a good team; an underrated team. Technically they've got some very good players. We're at home and we didn't want them to take control of the ball.

"Our intensity was very good. We got around them, forced them into mistakes, played some nice football and deserved the win.

"This group of lads are brilliant. It's been a great camp. There's confidence. We've just got to keep going."