Scotland defeated Georgia 2-0 in their Euro 2024 qualifier at Hampden but only after torrential rain at the national stadium forced play to be halted for more than 90 minutes.
Goals from Callum McGregor and Scott McTominay saw Scotland continue their winning run in the group, making it four victories from four games and on course to qualify for next year’s finals in Germany.
Steve Clarke’s side had gone into the game looking to continue the momentum from the hard-fought win over Norway on Saturday but it was the conditions, rather than the Georgians, that checked their stride.
Torrential rain in Mount Florida in the hour before kick-off had left the playing surface under water, thought referee István Vad allowed the game to start.
The conditions made the play comical, with huge splashes marking the movement of players and the ball slowing up as it moved through puddles.
Despite that, Scotland took the lead after six minutes. A corner from John McGinn wasn’t cleared properly and McGregor pounced at the edge of the box, striking a firm shot that Giorgi Mamardashvili couldn’t keep out.
Play stopped for what most thought was a VAR review but the referee held a discussion with pitchside officials and called play to a halt because of the conditions.
A 95-minute delay followed as Hampden grounds staff worked to clear the pitch of water and a succession of checks and discussions took place.
At one point Scotland’s players were on the pitch waiting to restart but Georgia, who had appeared keen for the game to be called off, failed to arrive from their dressing room.
Eventually, around the time the fans should have been awaiting the final whistle, play restarted and Scotland looked to regain the momentum they had.
Though the conditions were not as bad as previously, both teams still found it hard going but Scotland had the upper hand, taking the game to the visitors but unable to add to the scoreline in the remainder of the half.
Moments after the restart, the hosts doubled their lead. An Andy Robertson run down the left saw the ball worked to McTominay and he slid in at the edge of the box to fire a shot low into the bottom corner of the Georgia net.
Otar Kiteishvili fired a shot over the bar for Georgia but the visitors were spending more time on the back foot than troubling Angus Gunn’s goal.
Ryan Porteous had a golden opportunity to get his first Scotland goal but headed over after Billy Gilmour picked him out, and Scotland continued to create.
As time ticked down, Georgia found more urgency and Georges Mikautadze had two unsuccessful attempts.
In the final moments, a VAR review saw a penalty awarded to Georgia for an Aaron Hickey hand ball.
Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia stepped up but blazed his effort high and wide.
The final whistle drew things to an end far later than anyone expected but left Scotland in a commanding position as their rich vein of form continued.