After slipping up with a draw at home to Lithuania on Saturday, Gordon Strachan’s side were looking to bounce back. But a double from Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Robert Mak left the Scots toiling before Adam Nemec rubbed salt into the wounds with a third in the second half.
Scotland head to Wembley next month to face Group F leaders England but after taking just four points from their opening three games even an unlikely victory over the Auld Enemy may not be enough to salvage their qualifying bid.
Norway got their World Cup qualifying campaign up and running with a 4-1 home win over San Marino.
Per-Mathias Hogmo’s side went into the match against the Group C minnows on the back of defeats to Germany and Azerbaijan but took the lead through Davide Simoncini’s 11th-minute own goal.
However, San Marino equalised nine minutes after half-time through Mattia Stefanelli.
The hosts began to get nervous as the clock ticked on and it was a relief when Adama Diomande restored Norway’s lead with a curling effort from the edge of the penalty area in the 77th minute.
That was the cue for the floodgates to open somewhat and four minutes later Martin Samuelsen’s powerful 12-yard effort gave Hogmo’s team a cushion.
Bournemouth forward Josh King completed the scoring and made it a more respectable scoreline in Norway’s favour in the 83rd minute.