European Championship Qualifying - Group D
Scotland1Georgia0

Euro 2016: Scotland 1-0 Georgia

A strike from Shaun Maloney led to the only goal for Scotland
A strike from Shaun Maloney led to the only goal for Scotland at Ibrox
  • Scotland win first home match in Group D
  • Maloney strike leads to decisive own goal
  • Poland next up for Gordon Strachan's side

Scotland kick-started their European Championship qualifying campaign with a deserved, if far from emphatic, win over Georgia at Ibrox.

A powerful shot from Shaun Maloney was saved but then struck Akaki Khubutia to spin into the net for an own goal.

Soon after, an effort from captain Scott Brown deflected narrowly wide.

Georgia failed to test David Marshall but Scotland could not add to their lead, with Giorgi Loria saving from Steven Naismith and James Morrison.

Having lost their Group D opener in Germany last month, Scotland could ill afford a slip-up and set a high tempo, with full-backs Alan Hutton and Andy Robertson eager to get forward.

Brown, favoured for the captaincy with Darren Fletcher on the bench, and Morrison eagerly took turns to win possession and press forward from midfield.

Temuri Ketsbaia's visitors, already beaten at home by the Republic of Ireland, were organised in defence and held firm for almost half an hour but rarely ventured forward.

Hull City's Robertson impressed with a series of early crosses for Steven Fletcher, but whether the Sunderland striker was rusty after a lengthy absence from first-team football or simply too eager, he strayed offside too often.

James Morrison had a close-range shot well saved
James Morrison had a close-range shot well saved by Giorgi Loria

With Naismith driving them forward from a role behind Fletcher, Scotland's dominance was eventually rewarded - albeit rather fortuitously - when Maloney's low drive was parried by Loria against Khubutia and bounced over the goal-line.

With relief palpable around Ibrox, Naismith had a powerful crack at goal saved, and minutes later his marginally heavy touch from an eye-catching lay-off by Fletcher cost Scotland the chance of a well-worked second.

An energetic run down the right and cut-back into the box from Hutton - another player performing with renewed vigour - caused mayhem in the visitors' defence, the ball finally falling for Brown, whose shot from 18 yards was deflected a whisker wide.

Euro 2016 qualification process
24 teams will play at the finals in France
53 teams will chase 23 places, with the hosts taking the other place
The winners from eight groups of six and one group of five, runners-up and the best third-placed team will reach the finals
The eight remaining third-placed teams will contest two-legged play-offs to determine the last four qualifiers

And it was Hutton's combative play that won possession and fed Naismith inside the box in one of the second half's early chances, though Loria saved well from the bustling Everton forward.

Ikechi Anya increasingly found space on the left and was crudely brought down by Murtaz Daushvili when he raced in on goal to meet another exquisite Fletcher lay-off.

For all Scotland's possession, however, chances were not being converted into a bigger lead and, when a long ball over the top allowed Nikoloz Gelashvili to hare in on goal, the home fans held their breath - but the striker blazed over.

With 13 minutes remaining, Fletcher again set up Naismith with a lovely back-heel but the first-time shot was dragged across the face of goal.

Morrison then went close with a drive from eight yards, while at the other end substitute Irakli Dzaria almost made Scotland pay when he scuffed a shot wide of Marshall's goal.

Georgia manager Temuri Ketsbaia
Manager Temuri Ketsbaia (right) set his Georgia team set out to frustrate Scotland
Andy Robertson was a good attacking outlet for Scotland from left-back
Left-back Andy Robertson was a good attacking outlet for Scotland
Shuan Maloney's strike found the net via goalkeeper Giorgi Loria and defender Akaki Khubutia
Shuan Maloney's strike found the net via goalkeeper Giorgi Loria and defender Akaki Khubutia
Russell Martin and Steven Naismith celebrate on the full-time whistle
Scotland visit Poland on Tuesday, with three points from two matches

Line-ups

Scotland

  • 1Marshall
  • 2Hutton
  • 4Martin
  • 5Hanley
  • 3Robertson
  • 8Brown
  • 7MorrisonBooked at 33mins
  • 6MaloneyBooked at 68mins
  • 10NaismithSubstituted forMcArthurat 80'minutes
  • 11Anya
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forMartinat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Gordon
  • 13Martin
  • 14Reynolds
  • 15Whittaker
  • 16Bannan
  • 17Greer
  • 18Burke
  • 19Fletcher
  • 20Dorrans
  • 21Gilks
  • 22McArthur
  • 23May

Georgia

  • 1Loria
  • 2Lobzhanidze
  • 3Kverkvelia
  • 6Khubutia
  • 5GrigalavaBooked at 49mins
  • 19PapavaSubstituted forDzariaat 70'minutes
  • 7Kankava
  • 8DaushviliBooked at 53mins
  • 16KvirkveliaSubstituted forOkriashviliat 45'minutes
  • 20QazaishviliSubstituted forChanturiaat 80'minutes
  • 9Gelashvili

Substitutes

  • 4Tsintsadze
  • 11Chanturia
  • 12Kvaskhvadze
  • 13Migineishvili
  • 14Dvalishvili
  • 15Okriashvili
  • 17Ebralidze
  • 18Khmaladze
  • 21Dzaria
  • 22Papunashvili
  • 23Rekhviashvili
Referee:
Miroslav Zelinka

Match Stats

Home TeamScotlandAway TeamGeorgia
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home17
Away6
Shots on Target
Home5
Away0
Corners
Home9
Away3
Fouls
Home16
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Scotland 1, Georgia 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Scotland 1, Georgia 0.

Chris Martin (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Gia Grigalava (Georgia).

Offside, Scotland. Shaun Maloney tries a through ball, but Chris Martin is caught offside.

Chris Martin (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Murtaz Daushvili (Georgia).

Attempt blocked. Jaba Kankava (Georgia) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Chris Martin replaces Steven Fletcher.

Scott Brown (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gia Grigalava (Georgia).

Foul by James McArthur (Scotland).

Murtaz Daushvili (Georgia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Steven Fletcher (Scotland).

Gia Grigalava (Georgia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Alan Hutton (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tornike Okriashvili (Georgia).

Attempt missed. Grant Hanley (Scotland) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Shaun Maloney with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Saba Kvirkvelia.

Attempt saved. James Morrison (Scotland) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Steven Fletcher.

Foul by James McArthur (Scotland).

Murtaz Daushvili (Georgia) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. James McArthur replaces Steven Naismith.

Substitution

Substitution, Georgia. Giorgi Chanturia replaces Valeri Kazaishvili.

Attempt missed. Irakli Dzaria (Georgia) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Steven Naismith (Scotland) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Steven Fletcher.

Attempt missed. Andrew Robertson (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by James Morrison.

Attempt missed. Jaba Kankava (Georgia) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Irakli Dzaria following a corner.

Corner, Georgia. Conceded by Andrew Robertson.

Shaun Maloney (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Irakli Dzaria (Georgia).

Substitution

Substitution, Georgia. Irakli Dzaria replaces Giorgi Papava.

Corner, Georgia. Conceded by Russell Martin.

Booking

Shaun Maloney (Scotland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Shaun Maloney (Scotland).

Valeri Kazaishvili (Georgia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt blocked. Steven Fletcher (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James Morrison.

Foul by Alan Hutton (Scotland).

Tornike Okriashvili (Georgia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Steven Fletcher (Scotland) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Naismith.

goal

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