GREG TAYLOR came through unscathed as his Scotland international comeback ended in a 4-1 friendly defeat against France in Lille.
Skipper Callum McGregor was afforded a rare night off as he remained on the substitutes’ bench while Steve Clarke’s side lost for the third consecutive game.
The Scots, who sealed their place in next summer’s Euro Championships in Germany following Spain’s 1-0 win over Norway on Sunday, went down 3-1 to England at Hampden last month and followed that up with an unfortunate 2-0 setback in Seville on Thursday.
Taylor was brought in for his eleventh cap against Didier Deschamps’ World Cup runners-up and had a steady game before picking up a late yellow card from dodgy German referee Tobias Stieler.
REACHING FOR THE STARS…Greg Taylor celebrates his first goal of the season in the 3-1 win over Kilmarnock.
The Hoops defender had been brought in after injury to international captain Andy Robertson and ex-Celtic favourite Kieran Tierney.
Clarke’s men took a surprise lead in the 11th minute through Billy Gilmour with his first-ever senior goal, but the roof fell in when two quickfire strikes from central defender Benjamin Pavard had the hosts in front.
Kylian Mbappe, who terrorised the right-hand side of the Scots rearguard until his late withdrawal, netted the third just before the interval with the aid of a controversial penalty-kick.
It was all over by the time Kingsley Coman thumped a 70th-minute fourth behind Hearts keeper Zander Clark who had taken over from fellow-debutant Liam Kelly, of Motherwell, at half-time.
Disappointed gaffer Clarke, speaking to The Scotsman, said: “We can take the memory of qualification, but we lost two games in the camp. We don’t like losing. I don’t want them to be comfortable losing or happy losing.
“We spoke about that after the game, it is important we set our standards higher than that. We do not want to lose, we have lost three in a row now.
“I have asked them to make sure when we go to Georgia that we stop this run.”
Scotland travel to Tbilisi on November 16 and then complete their successful Euro 2024 group crusade with a home game against Erling Haaland and Co three days later.
On the club front, McGregor and Taylor will be fit to face Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday as the Premiership resumes after the two-week international break.