Match Report by Scottish FA Youth Ambassadors of Change

Scotland Under-17s started their UEFA Elite Round qualification campaign with a defeat to Portugal.

Portugal struck early with a shot from 20 yards out, as Gerson sent a flying effort past Jamie Smith into the top right of the net with just five minutes on the clock.

Scotland’s first chance of the game came a couple of minutes later when captain Connor Smith floated a corner to into the box. However, Jamie Hamilton’s header was comfortably saved by Portugal keeper Samuel Soares. 

Scotland were awarded a free kick outside the box in the 15th minute after a challenge from Bruno Tavares. Thomas Dickson-Peters fired the shot wide to the left of the goal.

Smith fashioned another chance from a corner for Scotland, but Connor McAvoy’s header was easily collected by Soares.

Fábio Silva doubled Portugal’s lead 25 minutes in. Tomás Estevez played the ball through to Silva who slipped past Dickson-Peters to slot the ball into the net.

Portugal missed a great chance to add another when Silva failed to meet the pass played across the face of goal by Paulo Barnardo.

Silva came close again after half an hour when Scotland keeper Smith produced an impressive double save to deny Portugal a third goal, minutes before Silva beat two defenders to hit the post.

Connor Smith had an attempt for Scotland from the left wing before half time, but his shot was comfortably collected by Soares.

Scotland made two substitutions at half time, with Stuart McKinstry and Reece McAlear coming on for Connor Barron and Thomas Dickson-Peters.

The Scots came out fighting after the break as they pushed into Portugal’s half and put more pressure on the leaders.

Jamie Smith pulled off a great save to keep Tiago Ribeiro’s shot out and the score line down.

Substitute Stuart McKinstry’s narrow effort was saved by Soares, as was Reece McAlear’s attempt from a free kick.

Connor Smith passed the captain's armband on to Andrew Winter when he came off for Liam Miller. Aaron Hickey was also replaced by Finn Ecrepont after receiving some treatment on the pitch. 

Jamie Smith produced yet another excellent save to deny Pereira in added time. 

Scotland had the last chance of the game after McAlear sent a free kick into the box, but Jamie Hamilton’s header landed wide of the goal. 

It finished 2-0 at the Simple Digital Arena in Paisley, meaning Brian McLaughlin’s side will look to bounce back from the defeat when they return to Paisley to take on Russia on Saturday, 23 March. 

Portugal: Soares; Esteves, Simoes,Araujo, Brito; Gerson, Daniel, Tavares; Ribeiro, Silva, Bernardo.

Substitutes: Almeida, Brazao, Rego, Cruz, Quizera, Pereira, Tomas, Batalha, Rodrigues.

Scotland: Smith; Hamilton, Logan, McAvoy, Hickey; Winter, Smith, Barron; Dickson, Kennedy, Dickson-Peters.

Substitutes: Slicker, Ecrepont, Morrison, Craig, Lo-Everton, King, McKinstry, Miller, McAlear.