Scotland U17s finished their European Championship campaign pointless and bottom of Group C, despite a spirited performance against Germany at the DEAC Stadion.
Scotland were under pressure from the start as Germany dominated the early proceedings. Ramsak was the first to come close for the Germans in the fourth minute as he asserted control of the ball to drive straight at Rory Mahady, but the keeper did well to clear the danger.
The home side hemmed their opponents into their own half during the opening quarter as they sent teasing crosses into the box with the Scots’ stubborn defence holding firm. However, as the first period progressed, the match became tightly contested, with neither side creating clear-cut chances, but Germany continued to look the most threatening on the break as they attempted to break their opponent’s resolve.
The Germans went agonisingly close on the half-hour mark as Brunner connected onto a corner kick, however, his effort from close range hit the side netting. The youngster also tried his luck mere minutes later as he shrugged past Bailey Rice to fire a shot at goal, but Mahady was on guard to tip the ball over the bar.
As the clock entered the final five minutes before the interval, Germany were relentless in bombarding Scotland’s defence. Watjen found ample space to attempt an effort from the edge of the box, but it was comfortably parried by the keeper. The Tartan Army then got their first opportunity of the afternoon in added time. Mitchell Frame snatched possession of the ball to sprint up the right side of the pitch and pass to Rory Wilson, but he was unable to maintain control and it was eventually cleared by Schmitt.
Scotland came flying out the blocks with their first real chance two minutes after the restart. The ball landed at the feet of Lennon Connolly, but he ran the keeper too close to take advantage. However, it was the Germans who broke the deadlock in the 48th minute. Dardai manoeuvred into the box and sent a cross to Darvich who knocked a low header past Mahady at the back post.
The home side were clearly rejuvenated following the opening goal as they doubled their advantage five minutes later. Da Silva Moreira delivered a smooth cross into the box from the left-hand side, which Dardai pounced on to rifle a header into the bottom corner.
As the match reached the hour mark, Scotland were struggling to ascertain a presence in the game as the Germans continued to assert their dominance. Malanga drilled an effort from a tight angle at the edge of the box, but it flew narrowly wide.
The away side then conceded a penalty in the 66th minute after Harchaoui was fouled in the box by Mahady. However, the keeper prevented the Germans from extending their lead as he guessed the correct direction to divert the spot-kick wide.
Despite, being two goals behind, the Tartan Army were defiant and attempted to make headway going forward, however, sparse. Bobby McLuckie squared the ball to Wilson in the 73rd minute, but the captain’s strike from inside the box flew off the target.
With five minutes of normal time remaining, Germany continued to pepper their opponent’s box. Harchaoui pounced onto Osawe’s cross from close range, but Rocco Friel was on hand to intercept and prevent the ball from heading goalwards.
Germany then compounded further misery on the Scots with a third goal in the first minute of injury time. Malanga’s pass caught Watjen who entered the box and slithered past Jacob Macintyre to fire the ball beyond Mahady.
The result concludes a disappointing tournament for Scotland losing all three games but the team will take great experience going forward, especially in such a tough group.
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