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Brave Scotland hit by Swiss counter

Scotland 0

Switzerland 2

Furrer 51' 56'
  • Tuesday, 22 September 2015
  • Forthbank Stadium
  • Under 15´s
  • Vauxhall International Challenge Match

Jack Thomson | YFS Falkirk Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Scotland head coach Brian McLaughlin cited in his post match interview the importance of the team challenging themselves against strong opposition and Switzerland certainly proved to fit the criteria in this Vauxhall Under 15 International Challenge Match at Forthbank Stadium. Scotland maintained a strong possession-focused performance throughout but were undone in the second half by a Guillaume Furrer brace. The first was a dipping 51st minute free-kick from the Servette FC player and the second five minutes later, a composed finish inside the penalty area. 
 
Switzerland signalled their intent early with a bright start and won a free-kick in the 5th minute. Ricardo Azevedo curled in an excellent delivery from the right but teammate Felipe Miguel Freitas Borges could not adjust his footing and knocked the ball past the post from close range. 
 
It did not take long for Scotland to assert themselves, however, as the imposing Dean Campbell threaded his club teammate Tyler Chicken through on goal but the wide player could not arrow his effort away from the oncoming goalkeeper who gathered confidently. 
 
Positive combination play in the 9th minute saw Scotland captain Billy Gilmour win a free-kick in an enticing position on the edge of the box. Gilmour brushed himself down to bend the ball up and over but Swiss goalkeeper Andre Pinheiro produced a fantastic stop to turn it over the bar. This was to be the start of a sustained period of pressure from the Scots and an indication from Pinheiro that he was ready for whatever they had to throw at him. 
 
A high tempo ensued from the home side as they sought to get their wide players to the byline whenever possible. Successive teasing balls were sent across the face of the goal but the Switzerland defence proved equal on more than one occasion. 
 
Gilmour quickly found his footing, showing some neat footwork in the middle of the park, and was teed up by Kieran McKechnie in the 26th minute. Gilmour’s effort was struck with venom and accuracy but as it headed towards the top left corner Pinheiro leaped across to acrobatically divert the shot over the bar. Minutes later, Harry Cochrane adjusted his feet with expertise to fend off defenders on the edge of the Switzerland area before firing a shot which was just too close to the goalkeeper.  
 
Gilmour, McKechnie and Campbell were just three of a list of impressive Scotland performances but Switzerland held their defensive shape well, looking for the opportunity to counter through Borges and Felix Khonde Mambimbi. 
 
The last clear cut chance of the half would arrive as a result of a lofted ball into the box in the 36th minute. Kieran McGrath rose highest to nod his effort inches over the bar. 
  • Half Time:
  • Scotland
  • 0-0
  • Switzerland
As the teams kicked off following the break, the quality on display was evident as both teams sought to stroke the ball across the pitch and create space. Just three minutes of the half on the clock and Scotland full-back Nathan Patterson strode in field before releasing Gilmour but once again the goalkeeper thwarted the playmaker. A minute following it was McKechnie’s turn to test the goalkeeper. Shuffling inside on the left, the Rangers’ player ripped a fierce effort towards goal but Pinheiro’s exploits denied Scotland yet again. 
 
Scotland were asserting pressure upon pressure but in the 51st minute, Switzerland counter-attacked effectively and trickery from Mambimbi provoked a foul on the edge of the box. Furrer stepped up to curl an exquisite effort over the wall and into the top left corner to break the deadlock. 
Switzerland, encouraged after opening the scoring, surged up the pitch and nearly had a second when Mambimbi bore down on goal but the forward blasted his effort off the trailing leg of Scotland goalkeeper Ryan Mullen and over the bar. 
 
The away side extended their lead in the 56th minute. Racing into a two-on-one scenario, the ball was squared for the impressive Furrer who showed the composure to calmly roll the ball home under the goalkeeper. Scotland continued to spray the ball around with technical aplomb but Switzerland were spurred on by the blows they had managed to land and grew into the game considerably as the clock wound down.
 
A 60th minute long range effort from Christopher Hamilton had Pinheiro scrambling across his goal but the shot narrowly cleared the bar. Scotland refused to give up hope and pressed high up the field but Randy Schneider began to dominate proceedings in midfield for the Swiss combining play with elegance. 
 
The arrival of Declan McDonald into the fray offered a different dimension to Scotland’s attack. Holding the ball up well, McDonald’s physicality unsettled the Swiss defence as he brought teammates into play. In the 66th minute, the forward broke into space and feinted to go one way before driving beyond the defence but his shot was gathered by the goalkeeper. 
 
Scotland’s penultimate chance of the game came as a result of a great piece of initiative from Gilmour. The captain had excelled in leading by example. Dropping deep to receive the ball, Gilmour flighted a ball over the top into the path of McDonald but Pinheiro was quick off his line to avert the danger. 
 
Scotland stuck to their philosophy of possession and technical development throughout the ninety until the final whistle. It was a performance that head coach McLaughlin was happy with: “This is the first time they’ve ever played in their own country in front of all their parents. The expectations are massive but we’ve worked for two days in trying to play a particular style, trying to put it down and trying to have lots of the ball.” 
 
Scotland will be proud of their efforts, as their coach was: “Ultimately we want to create chances and I’m looking forward to watching the video because I think we’ve created 12-14 chances which is hard to believe in an international. I’m very proud of the boys.” 
 
  • Full Time:
  • Scotland
  • 0-2
  • Switzerland

Lineups

Scotland
Switzerland
1. Ryan Mullen
2. Nathan Patterson
3. Eddie Campbell
4. Christopher Hamilton
5. Taylor Wilson
6. Dean Campbell
7. Tyler Chicken
8. Harry Cochrane
9. Kieran McGrath
10. Billy Gilmour (C)
11. Kieran McKechnie
12. David Wilson
13. Jack McDowell
14. Ethan Ross
15. Terry Taylor
16. Leon Chiwara
17. Jamie Semple
18. Dean Cornelius
19. Declan McDonald
20. Daniel Finlayson
1. Andre Pinheiro
2. Lewin Blum
3. Ashvin Balaruban
4. Gianluca Romano
5. Jan Wornhard
6. Stephane Cueni
7. Felipe Miguel Freitas Borges
8. Ricardo Azevedo
9. Felix Khondi Mambimbi
10. Randy Schneider (C)
11. Guillaume Furrer
12. Lucio Soldini
13. Adrian Durrer
14. Julian Vonmoos
15. Loic Vlapamo
16. Nils Pedat
17. Jerome Laubli
18. Kushtrim Rexhepi
19. Alexandre Jankewitz
20. Orges Bunjaku
Star Player
Scotland
Switzerland
Billy Gilmour - A persistent creative spark in the middle, Billy was unlucky not to get a goal testing the goalkeeper time and time again.
Andre Pinheiro - A series of top class stops and confident handling from the goalkeeper gave his side a solid foundation to build on and meant that Switzerland kept a clean sheet.
Magic Moment
Scotland
Switzerland
Dean Campbell provided a series of magic moments with excellent composure and awareness in the middle but his vision to spot the run of club teammate Tyler Chicken in the early stages suggested Scotland have a player on their hands.
It needed a touch of brilliance to beat Scotland and Guillaume Furrer provided it with an exquisitely taken free-kick in the second half.
Club Views
Scotland
Switzerland
Scotland Head Coach Brian McLaughlin said: "Switzerland are a very good team. We want to challenge our players because we want to make our players better. That’s the only reason the boys have been here for two or three days, to try and become better. Tonight some of them have done that without a doubt and then we start again tomorrow to become better again. Switzerland started the game great and we were really happy that we got into our rhythm and played our game.

We’ve been hit on the counter-attack and we will learn because that’s the only reason we are here, to learn. It’s not easy at this level but when you have the technical ability that we’ve got, you have to share the ball. I think they did that tonight and I can’t stress enough how proud I am because they are brave enough to take the ball and trust their technique. That’s what football is about at the top level."

Scotland Captain Billy Gilmour said: "We’re quite disappointed that we didn’t win but the boys played great football. We practiced our game all week, down at the training ground and the big thing to take from this is how we’ve done as a team and what we’re learning at international football.

We look to always play from the back and then try and find our striker. The boys played absolutely brilliant tonight, the way we kept the ball and kept the team spirit going, even when one or two goals came in we still kept on at it. We were unlucky with the chances because the goalkeeper made some really good saves."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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