UEFA European Under-19 Championship Qualifiers
Belarus 2-2 Scotland
Wednesday 9th October, 2019
Cappielow Park, Greenock

Scotland: Nathan Patterson (12), Dapo Mebude (19)
Belarus: Dzmitry Pryshcepa (35) Raman Davyskiba (53)

Billy Stark’s Under-19 side began their UEFA European Championship qualifying campaign with a 2-2 draw against Belarus at Cappielow.

Scotland started the game positively and were rewarded twelve minutes in with the first goal of the game. Marc Leonard’s diagonal ball found right-back Nathan Patterson, who took it brilliantly first time with his side footed shot looping over the goalkeeper into the back of the net from a tight angle.

Their strong start to the game continued after great play between Josh McPake and Ethan Ross resulted in Aliaksei Firsau bringing down McPake for a penalty. Dapo Mebude was trusted with the penalty kick and he showed no nerves as he slotted it into the bottom right corner to make it 2-0.

Despite Scotland dominating the first thirty minutes, Belarus got themselves back into the game scoring with their first shot on goal. A corner kick found Dzmitry Pryshcepa alone at the edge of the box and with a composed finish past Archie Mair, he opened Belarus’ account for the campaign.

Archie Mair was called into action again minutes later as he produced a fine save to deny Belarus captain Uladzislau Rusenchyk’s shot from distance.

Mebude’s cutback gave Jack Burroughs the final chance of the first half but his shot was well saved by Artur Maliyeuski, with Scotland heading in to the break 2-1 up.

It was a dream start to the second half for the Belarus side as they were gifted an equaliser on the 53rd minute. Raman Davyskiba robbed the Scotland defence at the edge of the box and he slotted home to make it 2-2.

Billy Stark freshened up his frontline with Kai Kennedy and Ciaran Dickson coming on as his side began to test the Belarus defence more.

Dean Campbell’s shot from distance was inches wide and that was closely followed by Scotland’s best chance of the second half. Mebude’s close range effort on the turn was parried away by Maliyeuski twenty minutes from time.

Archie Mair then produced a wonderful reaction save on 76th minute to deny Rusenchyk and keep the scores level.

Scotland were handed the advantage going into the final ten minutes when Viktar Sotnikau was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Campbell.

They made use of the extra man as they piled on the pressure in the final moments of the game. The impressive McPake found his shot saved and seconds later the ball was sliced off the bar by the Belarus defender.

Countless corners and blocks denied Scotland the winner as they threw everything at a Belarus defence who stood up well to the relentless pressure.

The youngsters will have to dust themselves down with two more ties coming up in their bid for qualification. First up is Andorra at Dumbarton’s stadium on Saturday at noon, followed by another stern test against Germany on Tuesday night at Firhill.

Belarus: Artur Maliyeuski, Hleb Hurban, Aliaksei Frisau (Taisir Adamchyk), Dzmitry Pryshcepa, Uladzislau Rusenchyk ©, Yauheni Huletski (Viktar Sotnikau), Raman Davyskiba (Siamion Pianchuk), Hleb Ruda, Aleh Nikifarenka (Pavel Pashevich), Uladzislau Lozhkin (Yauheni Kozel), Aliaksandr Luzan

Dzianis Shpakouski, Mikita Supranovich, Petr Zgurski, Mikita Dzemchanka, Yauheni Kozel

Scotland: Archie Mair, Nathan Patterson, Connor McAvoy, Jamie Hamilton, Dean Campbell, Jack Burroughs (Ciaran Dickson), Marc Leonard © (Kyle Joseph), Dapo Mebude, Ethan Ross (Kai Kennedy), Josh McPake, Luke Robinson

Ross Sinclair, Christopher Hamilton, Harrison Ashby, Sonny Blulo-Everton, Lewis Fiorini, James Maxwell