The vistors were aiming to kick on from their win against Slovakia last week in Paisley, and knew a victory against a side who were trounced 6-0 at the same venue by the Dutch last week would vastly improve their hopes of qualifying for the European Championship. But Billy Stark's side instead produced a dreadful display and could have no complaints at the outcome. In fact, they may consider themselves fortunate the scoreline was still at a respectable level after goalkeeper Jordan Archer saved a late Georgian penalty, with the home side two goals up at the time.
There was time for the traditional brief flurry of unexpected hope. Lewis Macleod, the young Rangers midfielder who was only fit enough for the bench after straining his back, had an immediate impact with a superb volley to drag a goal back. But the undeserved equaliser failed to materialise and the hosts held on to inflict a second defeat on Scotland.
"We can have no complaints in terms of losing the game," admitted Stark. "We did get the goal back late on, but it was a sub-par performance by us. I felt they were a bit fragile going into the game and I was hoping that we would be able to make them even more fragile by getting in front.
"We had a couple of great chances early on and if we had got ahead, their fragility would have been more evident. But when we missed those, we gave them encouragement and they grew in confidence. We couldn't get close enough to them and we gave the ball away too often."
The frustration was informed by the fact that Scotland had made an encouraging start in the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium. They came close to taking an eighth-minute lead when Stevie May burst clear before picking out Stuart Armstrong and, although the Scotland captain's low shot was well saved by Georgian goalkeeper Giorgi Nadiradze, Dylan McGeouch followed up with the rebound only to see his poked stab at the ball rebound off the post.
Georgia grew into the game, though, and started dominating play. The expected opening goal came six minutes from half-time when Valeri Qazaishvili's low shot from the edge of the area was too good for Archer.
Scotland were getting worse as the game progressed and Georgia deservedly doubled their lead in the 70th minute. Jambul Jigauri smacked in a 20-yard drive after Kvilitaia was again allowed all the time in the world to tee him up. Ryan Jack, the Scotland defender, complained to the referee that a tennis ball had been lobbed onto the pitch after the goal, but Stark did not want to make an issue of it and correctly pointed out it did not affected the outcome.
Archer prevented matters getting more embarrassing with 10 minutes to go when he saved a retaken penalty from Chanturia after Stuart Findlay was harshly deemed to have handled in the box. It seemed to give the Scots heart, and Macleod cracked in a superb volley from 25 yards to reduce the deficit and create an unlikely possible turning point. But, although fellow substitute Andrew Robertson forced the goalkeeper into a late save and Jordan McGhee headed over, it was too little, too late for the Scots.
"You move on from game to game," said Stark. "I don't think losing out here is a shock in any sense. Our under-17s lost to Georgia, our under-19s lost to Georgia, so we knew it would be tough.
"If we can reverse the result in Paisley next month, then we have nine points from five games and that gives us ample opportunity to try to qualify and I've said that to them. We had to be a bit critical of them though because we didn't find the form that they are capable of."