European Championship Qualifying - Group D
Georgia1Scotland0

Georgia 1-0 Scotland

Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher could not get the vital touch to put Scotland ahead in the first half

Scotland's quest for Euro 2016 qualification suffered a severe blow after a dispiriting loss in Georgia.

Valeri Qazaishvili's first-half goal was enough to give the hosts victory.

It was a promising start in terms of possession for Scotland but a lack of chances and some poor defending was Gordon Strachan's side's undoing.

Defeat leaves Scotland needing a win against Germany on Monday if they are to have a realistic chance of automatic qualification for the finals in France.

Their prospects were dented further later on Friday when the Republic of Ireland beat Gibraltar 4-0 to leapfrog the Scots into third place in Group D, while Germany moved to the top of the table with a 3-1 win against Poland.

The fourth-placed Scots are three points behind the second-placed Poles - the top two qualify automatically - but their hopes of finishing in the top three and securing at least a play-off spot are now out of their own hands.

Group D table
Valeri Qazaishvili scores for Georgia against Scotland
Qazaishvili's left-foot strike gave Georgia the lead

The Scots toiled for much of the match in Tbilisi and only seriously threatened in the closing stages with a Shaun Maloney free-kick deflected over and Grant Hanley heading wide.

History repeats itself

Former Scotland players like James McFadden had urged the current squad not to repeat the damaging 2-0 loss in Georgia that contributed massively to missing out on the Euro 2008 finals.

Scotland coach Gordon Strachan
Strachan's men sustained a second defeat in Group D

Indeed, some in the Georgia squad had featured in that 2007 encounter.

The atmosphere at kick-off failed to reflect the stakes for Scotland and only the 2,000 travelling fans seemed determined to make a din in a hot, sticky stadium that looked one-third full at best.

Any suggestions that the visitors would proceed with caution were soon put to bed as Strachan's attack-minded side pushed and pressed from the start - early chances though proved hard to come by.

Sensing early frustration, the Georgians seemed ready and willing to break at the slightest invitation and when they did, they looked dangerous.

Frustrated Fletcher

Much of the pre-match debate had centred around whether the game in Tbilisi was a 'must-win' for the Scots, given Germany, Poland and the Republic of Ireland's wins in Georgia.

Scotland striker Steven Fletcher
Fletcher could not add to his four international goals

Who would play the lone striker role was also a hot topic, given Leigh Griffiths' six goals for Celtic versus Fletcher's one for Sunderland.

Fletcher got the nod but his tendency to drop deep, particularly in the first half, illustrated Scotland's struggle against a side adept at cutting off the striker's supply line.

Hull City defender Andrew Robertson was back in the side and on the half-hour mark his tantalising ball in from the left-hand side just eluded the outstretched foot of Fletcher.

Griffiths eventually entered the fray in the second half as Ikechi Anya was withdrawn but no chances fell the way of the Scottish Premiership's top scorer.

Georgia make their mark

As the tempo dropped the home side started to dominate and duly took the lead as Vitesse Arnhem midfielder Qazaishvili slotted a low shot past David Marshall from the edge of the box after Scotland had failed to deal with some crisp Georgian passing in the final third.

Georgia players celebrating
Georgia claimed their first home win of the campaign

As the net bulged and the home fans rose as one, the new feel-good factor that's been following Scotland of late glanced towards the exit door.

Other than an away win in Gibraltar, Georgia's campaign so far had been barren and there was a determination to protect their lead.

Steven Naismith screamed "goal" after connecting with an inswinging Maloney corner that bounced up on the line and over but referee Ovidiu Hategan blew for a foul against goalkeeper Nukri Revishvili.

Shorty after that, Fletcher watched his low effort crash off the post but the offside flag that followed summed up the way things were going for the Scots.

As Gordon Strachan's side continued to run out of ideas, the home side grew in confidence and Mchedlidze, a scorer against the Scots in 2007 - came close when his rasping long-range effort was palmed away by Marshall.

Man of the match - Levan Mchedlidze

Levan Mchedlidze playing for Georgia against Scotland in 2007
Mchedlidze playing for Georgia against Scotland in 2007

Levan Mchedlidze was a teenager when he played and scored against the Scots in 2007 and he harried the 2015 vintage with some forceful runs.

His second-half strike that forced David Marshall into action brought the home fans to their feet.

What next?

Germany visit Hampden on Monday and though there are still qualifiers against the Poles and Gibraltar to come, Strachan's side will probably need a positive result against the world champions to maintain a realistic challenge for the top two places.

Germany coach Joachim Low
Low brings his Germany side to Hampden next week

The Scots ran Joachim Low's side close in the opening round of group fixtures, going down 2-1 in Dortmund.

But the Germans travel to Glasgow with the country not having suffered an away loss to Scotland since the 1930s.

The stats you need to know

  • Scotland did not register a shot on target in their defeat by Georgia.
  • Gordon Strachan's side failed to find the net for the first time in 13 matches.
  • The Scots last beat Monday's opponents Germany in Bremen in 1999 when Don Hutchison's solitary strike settled the friendly encounter.
  • In their last three successful qualification campaigns for France 1998, Euro 96 and Euro 92, Scotland suffered only one group defeat each time.

Line-ups

Georgia

  • 12Revishvili
  • 3Kverkvelia
  • 5Amisulashvili
  • 4KashiaBooked at 9mins
  • 2Lobzhanidze
  • 7Kankava
  • 10AnanidzeBooked at 44minsSubstituted forDaushviliat 82'minutes
  • 22NavalovskiBooked at 78mins
  • 8Qazaishvili
  • 9OkriashviliSubstituted forMerebashviliat 71'minutes
  • 23MchedlidzeSubstituted forVatsadzeat 90+3'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Loria
  • 6Khizanishvili
  • 11Vatsadze
  • 13Makaridze
  • 14Tskhadadze
  • 15Merebashvili
  • 16Kvekveskiri
  • 17Popkhadze
  • 18Kenia
  • 19Gvelesiani
  • 20Daushvili
  • 21Kakabadze

Scotland

  • 1Marshall
  • 2Hutton
  • 4Martin
  • 5Mulgrew
  • 3RobertsonSubstituted forHanleyat 59'minutes
  • 7Morrison
  • 8Brown
  • 6Maloney
  • 10NaismithSubstituted forForrestat 59'minutes
  • 11AnyaSubstituted forGriffithsat 75'minutes
  • 9Fletcher

Substitutes

  • 12Gordon
  • 13Ritchie
  • 14Griffiths
  • 15McArthur
  • 16Whittaker
  • 17Forrest
  • 18Russell
  • 19Fletcher
  • 20Greer
  • 21McGregor
  • 22Martin
  • 23Hanley
Referee:
Ovidiu Hategan

Match Stats

Home TeamGeorgiaAway TeamScotland
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home10
Away5
Shots on Target
Home3
Away0
Corners
Home5
Away7
Fouls
Home14
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Georgia 1, Scotland 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Georgia 1, Scotland 0.

Offside, Georgia. Mate Vatsadze tries a through ball, but Valeri Qazaishvili is caught offside.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Murtaz Daushvili.

Substitution

Substitution, Georgia. Mate Vatsadze replaces Levan Mchedlidze.

Attempt missed. Grant Hanley (Scotland) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Charlie Mulgrew with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Alexander Amisulashvili.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Alexander Amisulashvili.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Murtaz Daushvili.

Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Valeri Qazaishvili.

Attempt blocked. Shaun Maloney (Scotland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

James Morrison (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Saba Kverkvelia (Georgia).

Corner, Georgia. Conceded by Scott Brown.

Substitution

Substitution, Georgia. Murtaz Daushvili replaces Jano Ananidze.

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Scotland).

Jaba Kankava (Georgia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Steven Fletcher (Scotland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Charlie Mulgrew with a cross.

Booking

Georgi Navalovski (Georgia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

James Forrest (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Georgi Navalovski (Georgia).

Alan Hutton (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Valeri Qazaishvili (Georgia).

Offside, Georgia. Nukri Revishvili tries a through ball, but Ucha Lobzhanidze is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Levan Mchedlidze (Georgia) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jano Ananidze.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Leigh Griffiths replaces Ikechi Anya.

Substitution

Substitution, Georgia. Giorgi Merebashvili replaces Tornike Okriashvili.

Attempt missed. Steven Fletcher (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Charlie Mulgrew.

Foul by Georgi Navalovski (Georgia).

James Morrison (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Georgia. Conceded by David Marshall.

Attempt saved. Levan Mchedlidze (Georgia) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Valeri Qazaishvili.

Foul by Tornike Okriashvili (Georgia).

Alan Hutton (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jaba Kankava (Georgia).

Shaun Maloney (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Georgia. Valeri Qazaishvili tries a through ball, but Georgi Navalovski is caught offside.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Tornike Okriashvili (Georgia) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Scotland. Grant Hanley replaces Andrew Robertson.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Iceland76011531218
2Czech Rep7511149516
3Netherlands7313137610
4Turkey723289-19
5Latvia7043314-114
6Kazakhstan7016516-111

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wales752092717
2Belgium74211631314
3Israel7403149512
4Cyprus7304121209
5Bos-Herze7223910-18
6Andorra7007327-240

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Slovakia66001331018
2Spain65011531215
3Ukraine640292712
4Belarus6114411-74
5Macedonia6105614-83
6Luxembourg6015317-141

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany75111951416
2Poland74212161514
3R. of Ireland73311651112
4Scotland7322127511
5Georgia7205513-86
6Gibraltar7007138-370

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England66001831518
2Switzerland6402134912
3Slovenia630312759
4Estonia621335-27
5Lithuania6204412-86
6San Marino6015019-191

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Northern Ireland7511115616
2Romania743071615
3Hungary733153212
4Finland721468-27
5Faroe Islands7205511-66
6Greece702528-62

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Austria6510112916
2Sweden6330104612
3Russia62229458
4Montenegro612348-45
5Liechtenstein6123212-105
6Moldova602439-62

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia74301631315
2Italy7430105515
3Norway741288013
4Bulgaria722378-18
5Azerbaijan7124411-75
6Malta7016111-101

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portugal540174312
2Denmark632184411
3Albania532072511
4Serbia6114511-61
5Armenia6015511-61
View full European Championship Qualifying tables

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