UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
Scotland Under-21 2-0 Netherlands Under-21
Tuesday, 5 September 2017, kick-off 7.30pm
Paisley 2021 Stadium, Paisley
Scotland: Burke (61), Mallan (79)
A terrific Scotland performance saw Scotland Under-21s open their European Qualifying campaign with a fantastic win over the Netherlands.
Scotland started brightly with Lewis Morgan rampaging up the left wing – his cross unlucky not to find a man in the box. A series of corners followed, with Souttar’s ambitious attempt on the volley going high and wide.
A more settled period followed, with the battle in midfield becoming evident – Guus Til made a bursting run into the box from a through ball, but was thwarted by the linesman’s flag.
Oliver Burke was proving to be a problem for the Netherlands' back four; his pacy runs and closing down of Drommel in the Dutch goal nearly gave Scotland the breakthrough after 18 minutes. A Lewis Morgan shot followed seconds later, though powerful it skidded past the post.
A more settled period was to follow, with the Scottish centre back pairing of McKenna and Souttar comfortably dealing with the Netherlands attack.
It was Morgan again who nearly opened the scoring after half an hour, stealing the ball in midfield – his weaving run into the box and resultant shot just edging past the post.
Steven Bergwijn nearly opened the scoring after 35 minutes – his shot on the angle from inside the box came crashing off the post.
Scotland immediately had a chance of their own – an in-swinging free kick from Mallan met the head of McKenna, though it went straight into the waiting hands of the ‘keeper.
Scotland did well to see out the half without conceding after a sustained period of pressure from the Netherlands. Half-time and the game remained goalless.
It was a settled opening to the second half, with Scotland looking to break the deadlock – a snapshot from Dom Thomas after 54 mintues the most notable chance.
Oliver Burke then opened the scoring from 8 yards – a Mallan corner met the head of John Souttar. His attempt was cleared by the Dutch defence – only as far as Burke. The West Bromwich Albion man who duly thundered the ball home, bringing the vocal 2,474 fans off their seats. A just reward for the Scotland number seven, who had been looking energetic all evening.
Mallan, previously the provider, became the scorer after 79 minutes. He pounced on a mix up at the back from the Dutch defense to coolly slot home past the diving Joël Drommel. Having just scored he was substituted to a rapturous applause, Scott Wright taking his place.
Scotland were hungry for more. Burke, the captain for the evening, looked to try and double his goal tally. He showed great strength to hold off two Dutch defenders to fire in a shot from just outside the area – it trickled agonisingly wide.
Lewis Morgan, who had caused major problems for the Netherlands all evening, was named man of the match much to the delight of the crowd at his home stadium.
The full-time whistle ensured it was three points for Scotland and a strong start to their Under-21 European Championship campaign.
Scotland | Ryan Fulton (GK), Anthony Ralston, Greg Taylor, John Souttar, Scott McKenna, Iain Wilson, Oliver Burke (C) (Theo Archibald, 85’), Lewis Morgan, Stephen Mallan (Scott Wright, 80’), Dominic Thomas (Ross McCrorie, 72’), Chris Cadden
Unused substitutes: John Ruddy (GK), Michael Johnston, Ryan Hardie, Oliver McBurnie
Booked: Mallan, 78
Netherlands | Joël Drommel (GK), Denzel Dumfries, Jeremiah St Juste (C), Rick van Drongelen, Thomas Ouwejan, Pablo Rosario, Guus Til (Oussama Idrissi, 68’), Frenkie de Jong, Steven Bergwijn (Richairo Zivkovic, 76’), Bart Ramselaar, Gervane Kastaneer (Pelle van Amersfoort 60’)
Unused substitutes: Yanick van Osch (GK), Kevin Diks, Richairo Zivkovic, Sam Lammers, Damian van Bruggen,
Vauxhall Man of the Match: Lewis Morgan