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Match Analysis: Scotland 1-0 Georgia

Sports Mole takes a closer look at Scotland's 1-0 win over Georgia at Ibrox as Gordon Strachan's side picked up their first points of Euro 2016 qualifying.

Scotland secured their first points of Euro 2016 qualifying with a 1-0 win over Georgia at Ibrox on Friday.

A first-half own goal following a shot from Shaun Maloney was all that the Scots needed to get off the mark in Group D after their narrow loss to Germany last month.

Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action in Glasgow.

Match statistics

Shots: 17
On target: 5
Possession: 63%
Corners: 9
Fouls: 16

Shots: 5
On target: 0
Possession: 37%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 14

Was the result fair?

Not only was the result fair, but a bigger margin of victory would not have flattered Scotland considering their dominance. David Marshall did not have a save to make, which was in stark contrast to the action at the other end, where George Loria made several good stops to prevent Scotland getting that second goal which would have made the final few moments at Ibrox that much more comfortable for Gordon Strachan and his boys.

Scotland's performance

Against Germany, the Scots produced a excellent display in a losing cause, but today they had the result to go with their performance. It was a frustrating opening 25 minutes for the hosts, but the fortunate own goal was a crucial breakthrough for them against a side who showed a determination to sit 10 men behind the ball. From that moment on, Scotland played much more freely and created two hatfuls of chances.

What was impressive was the variety with which they attacked and the options that they had. They had the trickery of Shaun Maloney, the width and crossing ability of both Andrew Robertson and Alan Hutton in the full-back positions, and the combination play of Steven Naismith and Steven Fletcher in central areas. And all of these players were allowed to thrive because of the solid base set by the deeper midfielders, Scott Brown and James Morrison.

Strachan has no need to be concerned by the slenderness of the victory. There would be room to worry if they were not creating chances, but on another day, Naismith and Fletcher could have had a couple each, and a performance of this standard in Poland on Tuesday, with some better finishing, will give them a chance of a positive result.

Georgia's performance

Temuri Ketsbaia clearly set his side up to frustrate Scotland, and it worked. But for an unlucky own goal, with the ball bouncing into the net off the back of Akaki Khubutia's legs after Loria's save from Maloney, they would have blocked and battled their way to the point which they came to Glasgow searching for. They showed discipline in midfield to keep their shape when they did not have the ball, which was for long periods.

A physical presence at the back helped them defend crosses, but their centre-backs were not particularly mobile and they were often undone by how quickly Scotland moved the ball. They showed very little in attack, with star man Tornike Okriashvili surprisingly left on the bench. Having said that, they had a great chance to equalise late on, but Irakli Dzaria dragged a half volley wide.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Andrew Robertson: It has been quite an 18 months for Robertson: from Queen's Park kit man, to star performer on his competitive international debut. With Georgia parking the bus, width was always going to be important for Scotland, and the Hull City full-back provided it in abundance down the left, and crossed superbly throughout - it was his cross which eventually led to the home side's only goal. A day the 20-year-old will not forget in a hurry.

Biggest gaffe

Such was the unlucky nature of the own goal, that both Loria and Khubutia escape this award, and instead, probably for the first time in Sports Mole history, it goes to the fourth official. The Czech could not get the hang of his electronic board as Scotland called for a late substitution, which had to be pushed back several minutes as he battled with the misbehaving technology.

Strachan and his assistant Mark McGhee were furious at the time, and eventually Fletcher had to be waved off manually as Chris Martin came on. It was a moment of light relief for the home fans as they nervously watched the final few minutes, but one of embarrassment for the official in question.

Referee performance

Thankfully, the competence of the officials improved as they passed the white line. Without having any particularly difficult decisions to make, referee Miroslav Zelinka had a good game, brandishing his yellow card when necessary and dealing quickly and assuredly with a couple of tussles involving Hutton and Gia Grigalava.

What next?

Scotland: Scotland travel to Warsaw for a match against Poland on Tuesday which could go a long way to determining their qualifying destiny. Anything but defeat would be a good result for Strachan's charges.

Georgia: They have seen their slim hopes of reaching France 2016 damaged by two one-goal defeats, but Kestbaia will be confident that his side can get off the mark against Group D whipping boys Gibraltar.

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Shaun Maloney of Scotland fires in a shot which goes in off Akaki Khubutia of Georgia for an own goal to open the scoring during the EURO 2016 Qualifier match on October 11, 2014
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Live Commentary: Scotland 1-0 Georgia - as it happened

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