Scotland suffered one of its most embarrassing defeats when they scored two goals in the first 10 minutes to settle in Kazakhstan.
A top two goal in the European Championship qualifying group seems to be only a small chance after a defeat against a 117th World Cup. Kazakhstan had won only three of their previous 40 competitive games – against Andorra, Latvia and the Faroe Islands.
The first two goals were particularly painful for Aberdeen midfielder Graeme Shinnie, who was in left-back after a losing fitness fight between Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson.
Shinnie, who was left-handed earlier in his career, allowed Yuriy Pertsukh and Yan Vorogovskiy to come behind them.
Scotland's defense, which also saw Sheffield Liam Palmer make his right-back debut on Wednesday, and Scott McKenna and David Bates in the middle were still vulnerable to home attacks, and Baktiyar Zaynutdinov scored a simple third in the 51st minute. Scott Bain, who wore gloves after Allan McGregor's international retirement, was without guilt.
The team of Alex McLeish, who started with Oli McBurnie up front with Oliver Burke and James Forrest on both sides, had not scored yet and hobbled after a series of savings just before the hour on defeat.
While 27,000 home fans celebrated a memorable Kazakh New Year, around 600 followers from Scotland disbelieved after covering some 4,000 miles.
It looked as if they had started well in the Astana Arena, which had closed the roof for the occasion, as Scotland already had good possessions on the artificial turf at an early age. In the sixth minute she was shot off-the-ball as Michal Bilek made the perfect start to his post as Head Coach of Kazakhstan.
Shinnie let Pertsukh run away in an obvious offensive, but his two center-backs were behind him and the midfielder picked up Alexander Merkel's pass and slammed it into the net's roof.
The hosts doubled their lead as Islambek Kuat played a pass in Shinnie and Vorogovskiy made it from close range.
The events threatened to deteriorate after Kazakhstan was hit again by a superb ball again. This time the offside flag rose.
With an average age of less than 25 years, McLeish's team was under-experienced and vulnerable to any host attack. Bain came to the rescue to touch Kuat's dizzying, long-term effort.
In the later stages of the half, Scotland dominated the ball, but could not disturb the home goalkeeper. Burke and Stuart Armstrong have prevailed twice against Kazakhstan, but could not find a blue jersey.
McBurnie and John McGinn left the finish line and the latter disappeared when Skipper Callum McGregor's deep corner found him in space.
McLeish relegated Burke to a central role, but hopes of a Scotland comeback were eliminated on 51 minutes when a simple cross from the middle of the Scottish half of Zaynutdinov, who had ignored McKenna's attention, headed straight into the post has been.
Scotland had their first shot four minutes later when Armstrong dashed through the middle and tried to steer the ball into the box, but Dmytro Nepogodov reached the goal.
McLeish brought Johnny Russell for McBurnie and put Forrest on the left wing, but the change did not have the desired effect.
Scott McTominay and Marc McNulty were also on duty, but Bain made two saves in the last 20 minutes, while Scotland, who play San Marino on Sunday, had no problems with the keeper.