2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
Latvia Under-21s 0, Scotland Under-21s 2
Tuesday 10 October 2017, kick-off 4pm UK time
Stadions Daugava, Liepaja
Scotland: Oliver Burke (16), Oliver McBurnie (19).
Goals from Oliver Burke and Oliver McBurnie helped Scotland Under-21s to a thoroughly deserved three points in Latvia.
On the back of the opening group win over the Netherlands, the result maintains the solid start to the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers.
Scot Gemmill made one change from Friday’s trip to England, with McBurnie in for Stevie Mallan to spearhead the attack.
Scotland set the tone with an effort from Lewis Morgan inside two minutes that forced an early save from Kristaps Zommers.
Gemmill’s side didn’t let up – pressing high up the pitch when they didn’t have the ball and looking to break quickly when in possession.
They got their reward after 16 minutes, courtesy of a move that started with John Souttar winning a thumping 50-50 challenge.
Burke broke free of the defence to take Morgan’s well-weighted through-ball in his stride and slotted home with considerable composure.
The fired-up visitors doubled their advantage three minutes later, with a Dom Thomas free-kick landing perfectly for McBurnie, who left Zommers with no chance of making the save with a powerful header.
McBurnie came within an inch of adding to his tally, with a point-blank header drawing a terrific stop from Zommers.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic, with Scots keeper Ryan Fulton called into action on a couple of occasions but the Hamilton shot-stopper dealt with everything with minimal fuss.
Scotland adapted well to a heavy, rain-soaked pitch, with the wind swirling around Stadions Daugava.
They controlled the game after the break, with the defence superbly marshalled by Souttar and Scott McKenna.
A well-worked move merited a third, with Liam Smith’s cross-field ball headed down by Souttar to McBurnie, who used his body brilliantly to roll the defender and tee up Chris Cadden, only to see his shot clip the bar.
That makes it to wins out of three so far, with a home double-header to come next month against Latvia and Ukraine in Perth.
Latvia: Zommers, Litvinskis, Karklins, Cernomordijs, Sorokins, Stuglis, Emsis, Jurkovskis (Sibass, 72), Krusatins (Ivanovs, 86), Ciganiks, Kurtiss (Kigurs, 80).
Unused substitutes: Kurakins, Strods, Hvoinickis, Grinbergs.
Scotland: Fulton, Smith, McKenna, Souttar, Taylor, Cadden, Campbell, Thomas (McCrorie, 66), Burke (Williamson, 79), McBurnie (Hardie, 85), Morgan.
Unused substitutes: Ruddy, Johnston, Wright, Mallan.
Referee: Mario Zebec (Croatia)
Latvia – Yellow cards: Karaklins (11), Litvinskis (18), Kurtiss (51), Krusatins (81), Sibass (87).
Scotland – Yellow cards: Campbell (54), Burke (60).