Scotland picked up their first points from Euro 2016 qualification Group D, with Akaki Khubutia’s own goal securing a 1-0 win for Gordon Strachan’s side at Ibrox.
The hosts had several chances to win the game by a larger margin, however as the second-half wore on Georgia began to creep back into the match and made things nervous for Scotland.
Manager Gordon Strachan made four changes from the side defeated 2-1 against Germany last month, with Scott Brown replacing Darren Fletcher to captain the side, while Andrew Robertson, Shaun Maloney and Steven Fletcher also started in place of Steven Whittaker, Barry Bannan and the suspended Charlie Mulgrew.
Scotland began brightly with full backs Robertson and Alan Hutton both showing early intent to get forward, with their first real chance coming on 17 minutes when Steven Naismith flicked wide of the near post from Maloney’s cross.
The hosts were cranking up the pressure and a breakthrough seemed inevitable, before it came on 28 minutes. Robertson’s cross from the left went all the way through to Maloney on the right angle of the box, and his low driven effort was saved by the Georgia goalkeeper but rebounded off Akaki Khubutia and rolled into the net to give Scotland a deserved lead.
James Morrison became the first player into referee Miroslav Zelinka’s book on 33 minutes, when his trailing leg caught Georgia’s Giorgi Papava.
Scotland should have doubled their lead when Naismith was clean through on goal before being robbed of the ball by keeper Giorgi Loria, before a fine passing move culminated in Brown’s sidefooted effort from the edge of the area being deflected wide.
Georgia’s first glimpse came on the counter attack on 41 minutes, when Valeri Qazaishvili tried to pick out the run of Nikoloz Gelashvili, however goalkeeper David Marshall was out sharp to smother to preserve Scotland’s half-time lead.
The hosts began the second-half much like the first, sensing attacking joy in the wide areas with promising surges by Hutton and Anya drawing fouls by Gia Grigalava and Murtaz Daushvili respectively, with both resulting in yellow cards.
Scotland had another chance to add a second goal on 61 minutes, when Hutton won the ball on the halfway line before releasing Naismith who had the full goal to aim at, however his angled shot from 12 yards was beaten away by Loria at his near post.
A lovely move nearly sealed the win for Scotland on 78 minutes, as Fletcher’s dummy allowed Anya to find the Sunderland forward’s run, before Fletcher backheeled into Naismith’s path only for him to squeeze well wide from 12 yards.
However this game was by no means won, and Georgia offered the hosts a reminder of their threat when Nikoloz Gelashvili held the ball up for substitute Irakli Dzaria, with his shot from just inside the box trickling just wide.
Scotland threatened again with seven minutes remaining when Fletcher released Morrison, but his deflected shot forced a good reaction save by Loria, however Strachan’s side held out to register their first points of the Euro 2016 qualification campaign.