(Reuters) - Scotland’s prospects of qualifying for Euro 2016 suffered a blow with a 1-0 defeat away to Georgia after a splendid first-half goal by Valeri Kazaishvili in their Group D game on Friday.
The result leaves Scotland in third place with 11 points from seven matches behind group leaders Poland, who have 14 points, and second-placed Germany on 13 before their top-of-the-table clash in Frankfurt later on Friday.
“We did more than enough not to get beat but not enough to win. We are still there (with a chance to qualify),” Scotland manager Gordon Strachan told Sky Sports.
“Georgia put in a great defensive show and were ready to hit on the break. We didn’t have the physical presence to fight them for a goal. Our lads were brave but it wasn’t to be.”
Georgia stay second-bottom but now have six points.
Kazaishvili put the hosts ahead in the 38th minute when he controlled the ball with his right foot before firing into the far corner of the net with his left from the edge of the area past the despairing dive of goalkeeper David Marshall.
Scotland worked hard to find an equaliser but failed to land a single shot on target and it was Georgia who almost scored again when Levan Mchedlidze’s found the space to strike a fierce drive from 20 metres that was pushed over the bar by Marshall.
Scotland stepped up the pressure late on but could not find a way through the home defence and now face Germany on Monday when Georgia visit Ireland, who are two points behind Scotland but can go above them with a win over Gibraltar later on Friday.
Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Angus MacSwan