Hungary U21 v Scotland U21
UEFA Under-21 EURO 2025 Qualifier
Tuesday, 21 November, kick off 7pm (UK time)
Hidegkuti Nandor Stadium, Budapest
Hungary are the next opponents for Scotland Under-21s, who will be looking to back up their outstanding 2-0 win over Belgium on Friday night.
Jeremiah Mullen and Lyall Cameron were the goalscorers in Roeselare as the young Scots stunned their highly-ranked opponents to move up to second in Group B.
Scot Gemmill’s side have now won three straight EURO 2025 qualifiers, with their only defeat coming in a narrow loss to Spain in September.
Head Coach Scot Gemmill has not had his problems to seek during this camp, with several players forced to withdraw prior to meeting up with the squad - including Max Johnston and Tommy Conway.
The Scots were also dealt a blow on the eve of the Belgium match, as Liam Morrison was forced out of the double header through injury. Matthew Anderson also went off injured in Roeselare and he has returned to his club.
Scotland are boosted by the return of Ryan Duncan though. The versatile Aberdeen youngster remained at home after suffering with illness but he has recovered and flew out to Budapest on Sunday. He was joined by Cole McKinnon and Robbie Fraser who join up with the group.
Scotland and Hungary are well acquainted, having met at Fir Park just over a month ago. The Scots got off to a dream start that night, with Kieron Bowie putting them ahead in the second minute, firing across the goalkeeper after a slaloming run from inside his own half.
The Northampton Town striker then grabbed his second inside ten minutes as he rose highest at the far post to nod home Max Johnston’s precise cross.
Ben Doak then picked himself up off the deck to convert a penalty he had won to put the Scots in dreamland at 3-0 up inside half an hour. Hungary pulled a goal back before half time through Barnabas Kovacs, but a resolute defensive display from Scotland saw them to a comfortable 3-1 victory.
Prior to that meeting, the last match between the sides had occurred in Hungary in 2015. On that occasion, current Scotland international Lawrence Shankland scored a late double to record a last-gasp 2-1 victory, while Tartan Army favourites John McGinn and Ryan Christie also featured.
Defender Lewis Neilson has been a regular in Scotland Under-21 squads in the past year and - after making a number of appearances off the bench - he has now started the past two qualifiers.
Lewis - just reflecting on Friday's victory. A great achievement, especially given the players we were missing.
Yeah definitely. We obviously knew Belgium were going to be a very good side. It probably wasn't the prettiest game from our part and we didn't play too much football but we had a game plan and we stuck to it and it paid off with us getting the win. I only found out I was going to be playing a couple of hours before kick off because Liam Morrison was touch and go but I prepare the same. Whether I'm on the bench or starting I always try to do the right things. It does play on your mind a bit but you just need to focus on the match and do what you need to do.
Particularly in the second half it was a great defensive effort from the whole team. You must relish those occasions as a defender?
It was challenging but this is why you want to be away with the Under-21s. You want to test yourself against the top talent at this age group. It showed how together we are. It's a great group of boys. It's been a pretty similar group for a year or so we're definitely a lot closer and we're working well together. It was a massive defensive performance but we knew it was going to be that against Belgium.
You made your debut for the Under-21s against Northern Ireland last year and you've been a part of most squads. It must be very pleasing to now get a run of starts as well?
Yeah, 20 minutes into my first game I had to come off injured which was disappointing and I have had a lot of bench appearances since. It's been great to get back in the team though and hopefully after that result I can try to keep my spot on Tuesday as well. Coming away and being in the squad is great but everyone wants to play and it's the same for me. I want to try as many games as I can.
Just touching on your club career. You featured in a lot of games for Hearts, especially in the first half of last season, with some notable games in Europe too.
I probably got a lot more experience than I thought I was going to get when I first signed for Hearts. The first six months were great for me. I played about 15 games and played five in Europe as well. The away games were brilliant with the fans travelling and it was a really good experience against different types of opposition.
You've now gone out on loan to Partick Thistle. How has that experience been for you so far?
I did pre-season at Hearts but I spoke to Steven Naismith and said I wanted game time. Partick Thistle was the best suited one for me. Since I've gone in, I've not missed a minute of football. Playing games every week and sometimes twice a week. It's great for me and it's what I need at this point in time. To be defending as much as possible and improving my game.
Just finally - is the message now about backing up that excellent performance with another strong showing in Budapest tomorrow night?
The result on Friday doesn't mean anything unless we go and back it up on Tuesday. We'll probably look to play a bit more football and enjoy more of the ball and hopefully it will be another enjoyable night for us. We're sitting second in the group just now. Especially with the group we are in, with Spain, Hungary and Belgium - some top sides. But it's nothing less than we expect and we're looking to continue that.
How to Watch
The match will once again be streamed live on the Scotland National Team Youtube Channel. Commentator Luke Shanley will be joined by Scotland international Stephen O’Donnell.
Scotland Under-21 Squad
Vicent Angelini Brentford
Jack Newman Dundee United
Cieran Slicker Ipswich Town
Ibane Bowat TSV Hartberg (on loan from Fulham)
Adam Devine Rangers
Robbie Fraser Rangers
Jeremian Mullen Leeds United
Lewis Neilson* Partick Thistle (on loan from Heart of Midlothian)
Connor Barron* Aberdeen
Lyall Cameron* Dundee
Aidan Denholm Heart of Midlothian
Ryan Duncan Aberdeen
Kai Fotheringham* Dundee United
Leon King Rangers
Alex Lowry* Heart of Midlothian (on loan from Rangers)
Cole McKinnon Rangers
Dire Mebude KVC Westerlo
Finlay Robertson* Dundee
Kieron Bowie Northampton Town (on loan from Fulham)
Ben Doak Liverpool
Michael Mellon Morecambe (on loan from Burnley)
Robbie Ure RSCA Futures
*Denotes Scottish FA JD Performance School graduate