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Scotland ease to opening tournament win over Qatar

Scotland 7

Winter 17', Starrs 35',46', Sparkes 56', 76', Dembele 58', Hamilton 66',

Qatar 0

  • Tuesday, 25 July 2017
  • Oriam Performance Centre, Edinburgh
  • Under 16´s
  • Under 16s International Tournament

Jamie Braidwood | YFS South East Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Scotland Under 16s kicked off their series of international friendlies with a comfortable 7-0 victory over Qatar in Edinburgh.

First half goals from Andrew Winter and Cole Starrs put the hosts in a commanding position going into the break.

The Scots continued to dominate in the second half, Starrs grabbed his second and Scotland’s third before substitute Karamoko Dembele scored one and set up three goals, two for Michael Sparkes and one for Jamie Hamilton.

Playing possession football and keeping the ball is one of Scotland manager Brian McLaughlin’s key objectives for this week, and his players looked to do just that straight from kick off.

In the middle of the park Reece McAlear and Jensen Weir gave Scotland a physical edge over their opponents, and quickly established the control needed to dictate the pace of the game.

After a patient start, Scotland found some space and struck. Left back Liam Miller’s burst into the middle of the pitch and through ball to Winter opened up Qatar’s defence. Winter controlled on his left before opening his body and passing the ball into the far corner.

Scotland’s second came from a similar position. Captain Connor Smith cut in from the left before playing splitting the Qatar defence with a reverse ball to Winter. The Hamilton forward got to the pass just ahead of Qatar keeper Yousef Abdullah Balideh, who crashed into Winter’s standing leg and brought him down.

Starrs stepped up to take the spot kick. His low shot to the left struck the post but fortunately rebounded straight back to his feet. After adjusting his body Starrs guided the ball high into the net.

  • Half Time:
  • Scotland
  • 2-0
  • Qatar

Starrs scored his second, and Scotland’s third, shortly after the restart. It was a fine move, with Weir and Scotland right back Kane Patterson first exchanging a neat one-two on the wing. Patterson got to the byline and clipped a ball into the box, it broke to Starrs who volleyed down under the keeper.

It was then time for Dembele to make his entrance. The diminutive winger made his way onto the pitch with only around 30 minutes left to play but made an instant impact. McAlear’s pass down the right wing released Dembele, who skipped past Qatar left back and captain Saoud Alyafie and into the box.

Alyafie was stuck on the wrong side of his man and could do nothing but to bundle into him for another Scotland penalty. This time it was Michael Sparkes who stepped up, and made no mistake by cooly passing the ball down the middle of the goal.

The next goal was an almost identical move. Again, Dembele was played into space down the right wing. Again he showed lightning feet to burst past his defender and into the box but this time he stayed on his feet to curl a left foot shot into the far corner. Qatar’s left back was removed shortly afterwards, probably never wanting to see Karamoko Dembele ever again.

At 5-0 this was already a rout, but Scotland were not done yet. The hosts hosts had a significant height advantage over their opponents and had threatened from set pieces all afternoon. They finally made a breakthrough thanks to a wonderfully taken free kick from Dembele on the right wing. The bouncing, inswinging delivery made it very difficult for the keeper to deal with and Jamie Hamilton was in the right place to tap in.

Dembele was again the provider for Sparkes’ second and Scotland seventh five minutes from time. Picking the ball up in a central position, Dembele turned and ran at the Qatar defence. Sparkes made a peeling run behind the defender and got on the end of Dembele’s weighted pass before slotting the ball through the legs of the keeper.

7-0 and job done for Scotland. They will expect to face a much tougher task against England, who today beat Uruguay 2-0, at Forthbank Stadium on Thursday.


  • Full Time:
  • Scotland
  • 7-0
  • Qatar


12. Robbie Hemfey
2. Kane Patterson
20. Liam Morrison
4. Jamie Hamilton
13. Liam Miller
18. Jensen Weir
17. Reece McAlear
8. Connor Smith
7. Scott Cusick
11. Andrew Winter
9. Cole Starrs
1.Jack Newman
3. Finn Ecrepont
5. Ben Cameron
6. Cameron Logan
14. Josh Grigor
15. Adam Kettings
16. Dylan Forrest
19. Michael Sparkes
10. Karamoko Dembele
1. Yousef Abdullah M Balideh
12. Abdulla Essa MH Al-Sulaiti
13. Abdalla Arafa Abdelfattah Bdelmotei
3. Khalifa Yousuf HM Alobaidi
15. Saoud Abdulrab MA Alyafei
6. Jassim Jaber Elsayed Abdusallam
7. Jassim Fahad A TH Al-Zarra
24. Osamah Abdulkarim Ahmed Al-Tairi
11. Abdulla Badr Abdulrab Abdulla Al Yazidi
20. Ibrahim Meteb AB Al Mansoori
9. Abdulrahman Hassan AS Al-Abdulrahman
10. Abdullatif Hassan Al-Ishaq
21. Abdulla Yaser Kusi
30. Abdulrahman Ali Al-Hay
16. Ahmad Mohammed Al-Saeed
26. Faisal Meteb Al-Mansoori
22. Ali Mohammed Ali Ghulais
Star Player
Jensen Weir - Very impressive in the middle of the pitch. Physically, he was strong and helped Scotland establish control but also showed an impressive touch and technical ability.
Magic Moment
Karamoko Dembele's fine individual goal showed us a glimpse of his biggest strengths. The combination of lighting pace, clever feet and a silky touch was just too much for Qatar.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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