On 15th October, Scotland’s U19 squad managed to shock Europe with a 1-0 victory over Germany, booking their place in the Elite round of European qualifiers. After topping their group, Scotland will look to play their way to the U19 European Championships 2020, which is being hosted by Northern Ireland next June.
Scotland kicked off their group with a fair yet disappointing 2-2 draw with Belarus. Scotland began the game on the front foot, going 2-0 up in the first 20 minutes, courtesy of Nathan Patterson and Adedapo Mebude. However, this comfortable lead was short lived as Belarus managed to pull one back in the 34th minute with Dmitri Prischepa putting his name on the score sheet.
Belarus continued their momentum and in the 54th minute, they equalised through Raman Davyskiba. Following the equaliser, the game slowed down until some late drama with Victor Sotnikov being sent off 10 minutes before the whistle.
Scotland lit up their qualification campaign with a 2-0 win over Andorra. The first half was slow and it took Scotland a while to get into their stride. However, after a lot of perseverance Scotland opened the scoring through Jack Burroughs, eight minutes after the restart. Scotland used their momentum to knick another goal in the 65th minute with Jamie Hamilton adding to Scotland’s lead. In the late stages of the game, Andorra had a man sent off. This sealed the win for Scotland’s young squad.
Next up for Scotland was group favourites, Germany. Going into the game, Germany were expected to win the game, scoring many goals in the process. In the first two games, Germany had scored 12 goals and conceded two whilst Scotland had also conceded two goals but had only managed to score four. The first half was rugged and was poised for an intense game as there was nothing between the two sides.
Scotland scored at the perfect moment through Josh McPake, one minute before the interval. The second half was similar to the first and ran right to the wire. However, Scotland remained calm and managed to see the game through 1-0.
This U19's squad is full of talent and will be eager to play in Northern Ireland next summer. Should Scotland qualify for next year’s tournament, be sure to look out for any of these young player rising through the ranks and playing for the senior Scotland squad. Who knows, maybe they will be playing in the Scotland national team’s first major tournament since 1998.