MX23RW : Sunday, September 23 05:09:20
Oct 11, 2014 at 5pm UK at ​Hampden Park
Khubutia (28' og.)
Morrison (33'), Maloney (68')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Grigalava (49'), Daushvili (53')

Live Commentary: Scotland 1-0 Georgia - as it happened

Read how Scotland secured their first points of Euro 2016 qualifying courtesy of a 1-0 home win over Georgia with Sports Mole's live text coverage.

Scotland went searching for their first points of Euro 2016 qualifying when they welcomed Georgia to Ibrox.

Gordon Strachan's side were narrow losers in Germany in their opening game, but impressed in defeat and produced another good display in Glasgow today.

An own goal from Akaki Khubutia gave them a 28th-minute lead and, although Steven Naismith, Steven Fletcher and Scott Brown missed chances to make the result more comfortable, the Scots secured victory.

Below, you can read how the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live commentary.

4.32pmAfternoon, all. Scotland return to Ibrox for an international game for the first time since 1999, and the Glasgow crowd will be confident of victory over Georgia considering their recent form.

4.34pmGordon Strachan has taken his boys from relative no hopers to a real competitive, young, hungry outfit, and they were one Thomas Muller goal away from a draw in Germany in their last outing.

4.37pmThe expectancy levels are different this afternoon, though. A positive performance is not enough if they have ambitions to qualify for France 2016 from what is surely the group of death.

4.39pmPoland await the Scots on Tuesday in a battle which could go a long way to deciding who finishes behind the Germans. Firstly, let's see who Strachan has put his faith in for the first of the double header.

4.41pmSCOTLAND: Marshall; Hutton, R.Martin, Hanley, Robertson; Maloney, Morrison, Brown, Anya; S.Fletcher, Naismith
Subs: Gilks, C.Martin, Reynolds, Whittaker, Bannan, Burke, D.Fletcher, G.Dorrans, May

4.44pmGEORGIA: Lorla; Lobzhanidze, Kverkvella, Grigalava, Khubutla, Kankava, Daushvili, Gelashvili, Kvirkveia, Papava, Qazaishvili.

4.46pmStrachan hands Andrew Robertson, who was a kit man at Queen's Park 18 months ago, is handed a first competitive start. The left-back has impressed since moving to Hull for £3m this summer.

4.48pmWatford winger Ikechi Anya is promoted to the starting XI after scoring against Germany. Steven Fletcher and Steven Naismith make up the Scotland front two and are both in good goalscoring form.

4.50pmScott Brown makes his return from injury to captain his country, having barely featured for Scotland this season. James Morrison is preferred to Manchester United's Darren Fletcher alongside him.

4.52pmGeorgia, managed by former Newcastle United, Wolves and Dundee forward Temuri Kestbaia, go with Nikoloz Gelashvili, who has not scored in 20 international games, on his own in attack. Talented midfielder Tornike Okriashvili, who scored a screamer against ROI, is left on the bench.

4.55pmRemember this from Kestbaia? It's a moment I always look forward to on Premier League Years.

4.58pmPREDICTION: Just two minutes until kickoff here. Scotland are looking to qualifying for their first major tournament in 18 years, and this is the time of match they need to be winning if they are to do so. Georgia can be difficult opponents, but are not good travellers and so Scotland's in-form attack should have enough to secure them victory today. I'll plump for 2-0. An early goal would help...

1 minKICKOFF: Referee Miroslav Zelinka and his Czech officials get the game underway...

2 minSome tidy footwork from Fletcher allows him to release Robertson down the left, but the Hull man is crowded out. He must have had to pinch himself prior to kickoff considering how far he has come.

4 minRobertson is involved again in an advanced position early on and earns Scotland a corner. Just a reminder that ROI are also in Group D action, against the giants of Gibraltar. I shall keep you updated...

6 minMaloney wriggles through a couple of challenges and shows a change of pace to burst into the area. He lays inside to Naismith, but a Georgia defender is onto him quickly and steals the ball from him.

9 minThere is half a sign of a Georgia breakaway as a ball is knocked long into the left channel for Gelashvili to run onto. Grant Hanley is quickly across and muscles him off the ball assuredly.

11 minIt will be a tough afternoon for Georgia's lone frontman. Kestbaia's charges have already been pinned back and their young back line will have to show great maturity and organisation to keep the Scots out. Former Rangers defender Zurab Khizanishvili, 33, has been left out in favour of youth.

14 minUPDATE: Martin O'Neill's kind pre-match words about Gibraltar did not fool anybody and already Ireland are three up against the minnows. Robbie Keane has a 16-minute hat-trick in Dublin.

16 minMoments after Georgia had the chance to throw their tall centre-backs forward for a free kick which is cleared, Scotland have the chance to deliver and visiting keeper George Loria punches clear.

19 minScotland have had a couple of shots in the last few minutes, but nothing to write home about. Naismith's shot deflected a few yards wide off a Scotland teammate, while Morrison volleyed high into the stands with an ambitious effort. The ball dropped out of the sky and the midfielder couldn't resist.

22 minRobinson has not been shy to go forward and he charges into some space down the left before knocking a clever ball behind the Georgia defence for Fletcher, who is offside as he stretches to reach it.

25 minThe visitors have been pretty disciplined in the opening 25 minutes. They defend in numbers, don't afford their opponents much time on the ball and have followed their midfield runners so far. Hutton slides in captain Brown on the underlap, but two Georgia defenders marshall him out of play.


28 minScotland end 28 minutes of mild frustration, but needed a big slice of luck to do so! Robertson's great ball from deep is punched clear by Loria, but only to Maloney on right edge of the box. The Wigan man hits a sweet volley low which the Georgia goalkeeper gets down to save, but he parries the ball onto the back of the legs of his own defender, Akaki Khubutia, and it rolls into the back of the net. The hosts had just begun to knock on the door with an Anya shot and a couple of corners and now they lead!

31 minSHOT! The crowd are feeling it now and so are Scotland's attackers, with Fletcher laying a pass inside from Hutton nicely into the path of Naismith, whose deflected strike is gathered by Loria.

33 minBOOKING: Morrison is booked for a forceful lunge on Giorgi Papava near the halfway line. The West Bromwich Albion man got a little of the ball but took some of the man along with it.

34 minHutton makes a great clearing header at the back post under pressure from Solomon Kverkvelia.

36 minCHANCE! Brilliant opportunity for Naismith, but his touch lets him town! The Everton man makes an unchecked run into the middle of the box and Fletcher does really well to spin and lay the ball into his path. Naismith is one-on-one with Loria and would surely have scored had it been able to bring the pass under control, but his heavy touch allows the Georgia keeper to thwart him.

38 minCLOSE! Robertson has been a threat down the left and now Hutton gets to the byline for the first time on the opposite flank, and he pulls a cross back which is weakly cleared by Kverkvelia. The ball falls perfectly to Brown and his attempt to bend the ball inside the post from 20 yards is only inches away.

40 minScotland are not only dominating possession now but are creating the chances to go with it. Anya is close to connecting with a diving header from Maloney's cross. Can they get a second before the break?

42 minRobertson provides a similar cross to the one which eventually provided the Scotland goal, and Fletcher gets up in between his two markers to direct a header a few yards over the crossbar.

44 minIt's one of only a few first-half touches for David Marshall as the keeper races off his line to sweep up the minimal danger which was being posed by Gelashvili's pass to Daushvili's down the left channel.


5.53pmIt's a job half done for the Scots, who have made the crucial breakthrough courtesy of a fortunate own goal. Loria pushed a Maloney volley onto Khubutia and back into the Georgia net on 28 minutes.

5.56pmThe first goal is always vital against an opposition who are determined to sit 10 or even 11 men behind the ball. Gordon Strachan may have felt that they should have a more comfortable cushion, however, with Naismith, Brown, Fletcher and Anya, all having come close to a Scotland second.

5.59pmScoring that second as soon as possible after the resumption of play will be Scotland's target. Georgia have shown nothing going forward, but it only takes one free kick, or one strike such was the one against Ireland to draw them level. I don't think that they have two goals in them, though.

6.01pmUPDATE: Speaking of Ireland, they are having a very easy time of it against Group D minnows and qualifying newbies Gibraltar. All-time leading scorer Robbie Keane's 16-minute hat-trick put Martin O'Neill's side 3-0 up in rapid fashion, and that is still the scoreline at the halfway point in Dublin.

6.03pmSTATS: Strachan will be encouraged with what the half-time statistics say about his side's performance. They were expected to be on top, but 72% possession illustrates just how superior they have been. Nine shots and eight corners back this up, while Georgia have yet to test Marshall.

46 minKICKOFF: The second period gets underway and Georgia have made a half-time change, bringing on Tornike Okriashvili for Dato Kvirkvelia. The midfielder scored a wonderful goal against Ireland and it was curious as to why he did not start today. Perhaps he is carrying a knock, but even so he is capable of the spectacular, and comes with a word of warning from Alec McLeish, the former Scotland boss who now manages Okriashvili at Belgian outfit Racing Genk. Scotland will need to be on their guard.

48 minBOOKING: Gia Grigalava becomes the first Georgia player yellow carded for blocking off the run of Hutton down the right. There is a bit of afters, but the referee brings things under control.

50 minThe Fletcher and Naismith partnership nearly yields a Scotland second, as the Sunderland striker gets on the end of a Naismith header to poke towards goal. Loria ends up making a pretty decent reflex save, but the flag had already been raised on Fletcher, who was three of four yards offside.

52 minBOOKING: A cynical challenge by Daushvili on Anya results in the Georgia midfielder entering the book. Anya was nearly away down the left after Fletcher's ball around the corner, but got hacked down.

55 minUPDATE: Ireland have made an even quicker start to the second half than they did the first against Gibraltar. They now lead 7-0, with James McClean scoring two of their four since the break.

57 minHutton brings Scotland up the field and then passes inside to Maloney. He shifts it further across the field to Naismith, only for the Everton man to badly overhit a through pass to Fletcher.

60 minSHOT! A mistake from Hanley presents Georgia with their clearest opening yet. The Blackburn defender makes a real mess of defending a simple long ball and Gelashvili gets in behind to hit a volley which flies comfortably over the bar. A warning sign for the Scots, though.

62 minCHANCE! Okriashvili's slack pass is intercepted by Hutton, who drives forward and infield into space. His slides in Naismith, but the pass is a little light and forces the Everton man to take a touch before shooting straight at Loria from a tight angle. Still Scotland have no second...

64 minFletcher, who was frustrated not to receive a pass from Naismith a minute or so ago, decides to go it alone and he gets good power behind a shot from the left edge of the area which Loria catches.

68 minBOOKING: Georgia are arguably enjoying their best spell of the game and Kazaishvili threatens to take a counter-attack into Scotland territory. Maloney spots the danger and trips him to prevent the home side being caught out. The Wigan man accepts his punishment as he follows Morrison into the book.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Ketsbaia senses that this could be Georgia's time and brings on Irakli Dzaria in their search for an equaliser. Defensive midfielder Giorgi Papava is sacrificed.

73 minYou can sense a little angst around Ibrox as they watch Georgia slowly become more of an attacking threat. Strachan will be praying that Scotland's inability to yet find a second does not cost them.

74 minRobertson puts a foot wrong for the first time all game as he gives possession away to Kazaishvili. The Hull full-back recovers well to restrict Georgia to a corner when Gelashvili was in space in the middle and waiting for a cross. From the resultant corner, 50-cap midfielder Kankava shoots a few yards wide.

78 minCHANCE! The best move of the match sees Anya lift a ball over the top for Fletcher, who had spun away from his marker. He is forced a bit wide, so cleverly backheels for Naismith to run onto, but he misses the far post with a shot from 10 yards out, on the right side of the box.

80 minMISS! That was the chance that Georgia have been waiting for! Okriashvili is released into loads of space down the left. He passes into the feet of Gelashvili, who sees the ball poked from him but into the path of Dzaria, and the substitute, unmarked in a central position at the edge of the box drags a half volley wide. The reaction of his teammates shows that they know that was their moment!

82 minSUBSTITUTION: Strachan senses that they may just need to solidify things up in the middle and he brings on Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur in place of busy Everton forward Naismith.

84 minSAVE! From a similar position from which Naismith has nearly scored twice, Morrison draws a decent save out of Loria. The midfielder ran beyond Fletcher to collect a clever reverse pass from the striker, but the Georgia keeper stays big at his near post to again deny Scotland.

87 minFour or five men get up in support of Fletcher as Hutton prepares to cross. Scotland need to be careful of committing too many bodies forward here. Conceding at this stage would be a disaster.

89 minSUBSTITUTION: Scotland's final substitution is being delayed by the incompetence of the fourth official, who keeps putting the wrong numbers up on the board. He is blaming his tools. Play resumes as they try to fix the machinery. Eventually, they give up with the technology and Strachan waves off Fletcher as Derby County striker Chris Martin comes on for the final few minutes.

90 minAs we enter the first of FOUR minutes of stoppage time, Russell Martin makes a block to prevent Kankava's shot going through to Marshall. This is a very important three minutes for the Scots.

90+3 minThis is a nervier finish than Scotland would have anticipated, but they have the ball in the Georgia half at present and, with little over a minute remaining, should see this out for three big points.


6.57pmNot as comfortable as it should have been, but Scotland pick up their first points of Euro 2016 qualifying with a 1-0 victory over Georgia. In Dublin, Ireland ended up putting seven past Gibraltar.

6.58pmIt could have been close to that number for the Scots at Ibrox, but they could just not put away their chances. A first-half own goal was enough for them in the end as they saw out the final few minutes.

7.00pmThat's it from me. Thanks for joining Sports Mole this evening, and be sure to stay with us for reaction from Glasgow, and coverage of tonight's remaining internationals.

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Scotland manager Gordon Strachan faces the media during a press conference at Sopwell House on August 13, 2013
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