Vauxhall Under-19 International Challenge Match
FT: Scotland 0-1 Germany
The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Tuesday, 14th August 2012
Scotland Under-19s were narrowly defeated by Germany in Falkirk this afternoon.
A 51st minute goal from Marcel Karcher was enough to beat a battling Scottish side under the guidance of Ricky Sbragia.
Germany are among the elite of world youth football and were chosen as opponents to provide Scotland with a tough test prior to the UEFA Under-19 Championship qualifiers in October.
Amid a torrential downpour the ball held up on the pitch which slowed down the game considerably.
The early pressure was from the Germans as Koray Gunter strode forward and produced a shot which went narrowly wide.
Scotland’s attacking intent was supressed while they contained German attacks in the first quarter.
The hosts were doing a fine job of standing up to the impressive physicality of the visitors.
Celtic’s Marcus Fraser and Jack Grimmer were the outstanding defensive players as they harried and hassled the play makers of Thomas Pledl and Sebastian Kerk.
The patient containment of the Scots paid off when John Herron set up wide-man Matthew Kennedy on the left who cut on his right and whipped a dangerous ball into box only for it to be cleared well.
Scotland captain Jack Hamilton was called into action not long after when he saved from a header five yards out.
As the sun began to break through and the rain subsided, a piece of play befitting of the improving weather conditions was produced by Rangers’ Barrie McKay.
He beat full-back Christopher Lenz down the right and curled in the cross most strikers dream about but there was no-one to meet it.
The young Scots were beginning to get a foothold into the match.
As half-time approached Fraser had the crowd cheering for a goal as his header from a corner went inches by the post.
Although Germany enjoyed most of the possession in the first-half, Scotland had limited them to few clear-cut opportunities.
Germany again began as the domineering side in the second half. Maximilian Arnold produced a fine burst of pace to cut inside and shoot low but Philip Anderson – on at half-time for Jack Hamilton – got down well to save.
A goal was coming and it happened on 51 minutes when Yannick Gerhardt zoomed down the left flank and cut back for Marcel Karcher who placed low past Anderson.
A triple substitution from Sbragia followed.
The Scots were struggling to get out of their own half for a prolonged period but pressed well, attracting praise post-match from German head coach Christian Ziege.
Scotland were presented with a chance to attack when Dominik Kohr accidentally passed to Christopher Johnston, who then chipped over the German defence, only for keeper Thomas Dahne to head clear.
As full-time approached full-back Joseph Chalmers linked up superbly with Jay Fulton to produce a teasing cross from the left, which was dealt with calmly by the visitors.
Hamilton (GK) (Anderson, 45), Miller (Gilmour, 65), Kingsley (Chalmers, 45), Davey (Stanton,65), Grimmer (Cpt), M. Fraser, Kennedy (Fraser, 52), Herron, Erwin (McManus, 52), MacLeod (Fulton, 84), McKay (Johnston, 52).