Scotland secured their first three points of the European Championship 2016 qualifying campaign after beating Georgia 1-0 at Ibrox.
An own goal from Akaki Khubutia was enough to give Gordon Strachan’s side a morale boosting win ahead of a though trip to Poland on Tuesday.
Despite Scotland having numerous chances to add to their tally through Scott Brown and Steven Naismith, they could not extend their lead and despite Georgia failing to test keeper David Marshall, it was a nervy ending to the game.
Scotland were looking to take all three points against Georgia after their opening Group D 2-1 defeat to world champions Germany and set out in an attacking fashion.
Hull City’s Andrew Robertson and Celtic’s Scott Brown were the stand out performers throughout the 90 minutes for the Scots. Time and again Robertson drove down the left flank in partnership with Ikechi Anya before firing in numerous tempting crosses, but neither Steven Fletcher nor Steven Naismith could take advantage with both lacking touch and form.
Georgia’s game plan of sitting back and defending allowed Scotland to continue to drive forward, and it was a mixture of stout defending and a poor final third that prevented Strachan’s side from taking the lead.
Scotland’s domination was eventually rewarded when a goal bound shot from Shaun Maloney was saved by Georgian keeper Loria only to see it deflect off Khubutia and into the net.
Naismith missed a number of clear chances after great link up play with Steven Fletcher, but the Everton forward’s touch was lacking and failed to beat Loria.
Skipper Scott Brown then saw his shot deflected agonisingly inches wide of the Georgian goal, after great play down the right from Alan Hutton.
With Scotland leading 1-0, as Georgia stepped up their game in the second half, the nerves began to appear and Georgia nearly secured an undeserving equaliser through Nikoloz Gelashvili, but the striker fired his shot off target.
Fletcher again set up Steven Naismith with a nice back heel, but the former Rangers man shot wide of the goal once more.
Morrison then went close from eight yards out, before substitute Irakli Dzaria almost made Scotland pay for these missed chances, but his shot went wide of Marshall’s goal to Scotland’s relief.
Scotland: Marshall, Hutton, Robertson, R. Martin, Hanley, Maloney, Morrison, Brown (Cpt.), Anya, S. Fletcher (Martin 90), Naismith (McArthur 80).
Subs not used: Gordon (GK), Gilks (GK), Reynolds, Whittaker, Greer, Bannan, Burke, D. Fletcher, Dorrans, May.