Under-21 International Challenge Match
Greece 1-1 Scotland
Wednesday, 6th February 2013, kick-off 3pm (local time)
Municipal Stadium, Korinthos
Karelis 13; Watt 58 pen
A second-half Tony Watt penalty earned Scotland Under-21s a 1-1 friendly draw with Greece this afternoon.
Nikos Karelis headed the Greeks into the lead on 13 minutes but Celtic striker Watt levelled the game on 58 minutes from the penalty spot after Kilmarnock forward Rory McKenzie was bundled over the box.
The match was Scotland’s final warm-up game ahead of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2015 qualifiers which begin on 25th March when Scotland host Luxembourg (venue to be announced).
Billy Stark handed Hearts midfielder Callum Tapping and Partick Thistle wide man Stuart Bannigan their first under-21 caps and the Thistle youngster almost provided an assist on his debut early in the match.
Bannigan’s free-kick on six minutes found Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Rhys McCabe at the back post but his header was pushed over the cross bar.
Dylan McGeouch took the resulting corner and found the head of Fraser Kerr but his effort went wide.
Despite the early pressure, Scotland fell behind on 13 minutes.
Everton forward Apostolos Vallios’s cross from the right was met by Karelis who managed to squeeze between Kieran Duffie and Fraser Kerr and head the ball high past Chris Kettings.
The Blackpool goalkeeper was in for a busy afternoon and made an excellent diving save from Vallios shortly before half time.
Scotland started the second half brightly with Watt finding the side netting with a shot after making a good run from midfield into the penalty box.
Watt was involved in the build-up to the penalty kick after finding McKenzie with a clever pass on the right.
McKenzie burst into the Greek penalty area before being bundled over and Watt stepped to send the goalkeeper the wrong way and score his fourth goal in six Scotland Under-21 matches.
Scotland had to defend shortly after grabbing their equaliser and Kettings was on his toes to deny Kostas Triantafyllopoulos and then Giannis Giannotas on the hour mark as Greece cranked up the pressure.
Ballas should have put Greece back into the lead on 68 minutes after he dispossessed McCabe just outside the Scotland penalty area but his flicked shot went narrowly wide of Kettings' post.
Greece had another golden opportunity to win the match with five minutes remaining when Giannotos jinked past Stephen O’Donnell but with only Kettings to beat, he sliced his shot wide.
Scotland could have grabbed the win themselves late the in the game after some good build-up play involving captain Stuart Armstrong and McKenzie but Kevin McHattie’s shot from distance was tipped over the cross bar and both sides had to settle for the draw.
Scotland: Kettings, Duffie (O’Donnell 57), McHattie, Kerr, Robertson (Wallace 78), Tapping, McGeouch (McKenzie 35), McCabe, Watt, Armstrong (cpt), Bannigan.
Subs not used: Thomson (GK).