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European Championship hopes come to an end for Scotland U19s after disappointing defeat to France

Scotland U19s saw their European Championship hopes come to an end with a 3-1 defeat at Somerset Park in Ayr against a strong French side.

A double from Mathys Tel and a third from Edan Diop in the first half was enough for the French to defeat their Scottish counterparts, despite a late consolation from Mackenzie Carse.

Photo: Alan Graham

After Iceland’s 4-1 win over Kazakhstan earlier in the day, Billy Stark’s men knew that only a win would be enough for the Scots to progress to the Elite Round of the tournament’s qualifying stage.

Scotland made four changes to the side that comfortably dispatched Kazakhstan, with Jacob Blaney, Finlay Pollock, Ben McPherson and Ryan Duncan coming into the starting 11, in place of Jack Harkness, Barry Hepburn, Connor Allan and Dylan Reid.

France made six changes from their 2-0 victory against Iceland, with Robin Risser, Therence Koudou, Younes El Hannach, Khalil Fayad, Vimoj Muntu wa Mungu and Edan Dip replacing Mathieu Patouillet, Cheick Doumbia, Wakis Kore, Wilson Odobert, Mathieu Acapandie and Nathan Buayi-Kiala.

Photo: Alan Graham

Scotland started impressively against a French side who had scored nine goals in their previous two group matches, but eventually, Les Blues took the lead in the 20th minute. A sloppy pass from the back eventually fell to Bayern Munich’s Mathys Tel, who fired low past Murray Johnson, for the opener.

Scotland nearly responded immediately when a free kick from Ryan Duncan rippled the side netting to the disappointment of the Scottish faithful in the stands who thought they had an early equaliser.

France were awarded a penalty just before the half-hour mark when Ben McPherson was judged to have brought down Lesley Ugochukwu in the area. Tel stepped up to send Johnson the wrong way and put his side 2-0 up.

It did not take long for France to add a third. A ball played into the area by captain Khalil Fayad was met at the back post by Edan Diop who had the simple task of nodding the ball into the back of the net to give his side a comfortable and deserved lead at half-time.

Photo: Alan Graham

The Scots were much improved after the break and were close to reducing the deficit in the opening minutes of the half. Two dangerous balls into the box were inches away from being turned in by Robbie Ure, but the Rangers striker couldn’t make contact with either delivery.

France were far from done however and Fayad had a couple of decent opportunities to add a fourth. The first came in the 57th minute when good play down the left from Vimoj Muntu Wa Mungu and Marvin De Lima opened up space for Fayad to fire a shot from 12 yards, but only into the hands of Johnson.

His second opportunity came 10 minutes later when a wonderful run from Ugochukwu got France up the pitch. He laid the ball down the right to Diop who cut back for the French captain, only for the skipper to fire well over the bar.

Scotland defended resolutely though and with 12 minutes left to play managed to pull one back after Ben McPherson was brought down in the box by Muntu Wa Mungu. Captain Mackenzie Carse stepped up to send goalkeeper Robin Risser the wrong way and claim a consolation goal for his side.

Photo: Alan Graham

The action was not over, however, and in the dying stages of the game, France were reduced to 10 men. Having been booked for kicking the ball away only moments before, Marvin De Luna was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Carse.

There was no time for Scotland to take advantage of their extra man and moments later referee, Dumitri Muntean, brought the match to an end. The result completes France’s 100% record in Group H and sends them to the elite round of the competition with runners-up, Iceland.

Photo: Alan Graham

Scotland U19s

1. Murray Johnson

2. Ben McPherson

3. Mathew Anderson

5. Kerr Smith

7. Ryan Duncan

8. Mackenzie Carse (C)

9. Finlay Pollock

10. Josh Adam

11. Adedire Mebude

15. Robbie Ure

16. Jacob Blaney


12. Liam McFarlane

6. Evan Towler

13. Barry Hepburn

14. Keiran Offord

17. Connor Allan

18. Dylan Reid

19. Murray Aiken

20. Bobby Wales

France U19s

1. Robin Risser

2. Therence Koudou

4. Younes El Hannach

6. Ayman Kari

8. Lesley Ugochukwu

9. Mathys Tel

10. Khalil Fayad

12. Marvin De Lima

14. Vimoj Muntu Wa Mungu

15. Nehemiah Fernandez

19. Edan Diop


16. Mathieu Patouillet

3. Cheick Doumbia

5. Wakis Kore

11. Wilson Odobert

13. Mathieu Acapandie

17. Nathan Buayi-Kiala

18. David Mokwa

Referee: Dumitri Muntean (MDA)



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