UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
Scotland 1-1 Latvia
Friday, 10 November 2017, kick-off 7.30pm
McDiarmid Park, Perth
Scotland: Hardie (90)
Latvia: Roberts Uldrikis (45)
In the first of a McDiarmid Park double header Scotland drew 1-1 against Latvia.
The hosts dominated throughout but fell behind moments before the break. Latvia saw a man sent off for a reckless challenge and Scotland continued to press forward, getting their rewards when Ryan Hardie scored from the spot to take a point from proceedings.
Scotland started the match the better side and dominated the opening quarter but failed to test goalkeeper Zommers.
Lewis Morgan looked lively as did Oliver McBurnie who both had chances to open the scoring.
Morgan is a man in form for club and country and following a brief stoppage due to floodlight failure, he went close from distance after 34 minutes.
Five minutes before the break Oliver McBurnie then brought out a solid save from the Latvian number 1 with curved a shot from inside the box.
On the stroke of half-time Latvia took the lead when a Jurkovskis header bounced high off the crossbar giving Uldrikis time to position himself in the box to slot beyond the scrambling Ryan Fulton.
At the start of the second period, Scotland looked determined to score the goal they deserved with Aberdeen’s Scott Wright going close from distance.
Oliver McBurnie was looking sharp and he nearly equalised for Scotland when he flicked the ball at the near post with 51 minutes gone and Zommers tipped it to safety.
Scotland were going closer each time and Stephen Mallan hit the roof of the net with a rasping free-kick from 25-yards as their attacking pressure began to build.
Scot Gemmill knew what was required from his men and took off defender Liam Smith for striker Ryan Hardie. With his first touch, the substitute went close to scoring.
After 67 minutes Ingars Stuglis was sent off for Latvia when he needless crashed into Chris Cadden on the touchline with a horrendously mistimed challenge.
Lewis Morgan was a constant threat for Scotland and with Latvia camped in their own half, he nearly scored after 76 minutes but the visitors still held strong.
Five minutes were added on for stoppages much to the delight of the McDiarmid Park crowd and Scotland were awarded a penalty for a foul inside the box allowing Ryan Hardie to smash the ball home to equalise.
Scotland pushed desperately for a deserved winner with Stephen Mallan inches away from the winner but the scoreline remained 1-1.
Scotland now turn their focus to Tuesday’s tie in Perth against Ukraine, kick-off 7.30pm.
Scotland: Fulton, Smith (Hardie, 64), Taylor, Souttar (C) (McCrorie, 68), McKenna, McBurnie, Morgan, Wright (Thomas, 86), Mallan, Cadden, Campbell
Unused substitutes: Ruddy, Williamson, Docherty, Archibald
Latvia: Zommers, Sorokins, Litvinskis, Cernomordijs, Karklins, Stuglis, Ciganiks (Ivanovs, 75), Jurkovskis (Strods, 86), Krusatins (Liepa), Uldrikis, Emsis
Unused substitutes: Kurakins, Gulbis, Kigurs, Hvoinickis
Man of the Match: Allan Campbell