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Scotland U19s lose out to Iceland in their European Championship Qualifying opener

Iceland came out on top against Scotland in the UEFA U19 European Championship qualifier at Firhill.

Orri Oskarsson scored the only goal of a lively match, with a brilliant strike in the second half.

Photo: Ramsay Banks

Early on, Iceland were denied spectacularly by Scotland keeper Murray Johnson. Oskarsson was released through on goal, but Johnson was alive to the Copenhagener’s chip before springing back up to deny Birgir Styrmisson’s effort on the rebound.

Keiran Offord almost had Scotland in front, 25 minutes in, as he showed remarkable tenacity to nick the ball from Sigurbergur Jorundsson in the final third. But Halldór Georgsson made himself big to brilliantly smother the shot away from danger to maintain the deadlock.

Oskarsson was again the driving force for Iceland as he arrowed through the Scotland midfield and laid off Hilmir Mikaelsson on the right-hand side. The ball in from the striker was almost perfect but ended up slightly too high for Oskarsson whose header went over the bar.

Oskarsson and Mikaelsson linked up again as the former threaded an inch-perfect ball through for the latter to calmly finish, but the linesman ruled out the goal for offside. At the other end, Georgsson was again called into action. He saved well using his feet to thwart Adedire Mebude’s drilled attempt from inside the area.

Photo: Ramsay Banks

After half-time, Scotland displayed greatly improved passing. Mackenzie Carse found Offord, who eventually returned it, but the Scotsman side-footed narrowly wide of the target.

With 25 minutes to go, Adolf Birgisson took the place of Daniel Kristjánsson and made an instant impact, finding the run of Oskarsson, who finished emphatically, high into Johnson’s goal.

Iceland nearly doubled their lead when Eggert Guðmundsson sent Mikaelsson through on goal. Johnson added yet another excellent save to his rapidly growing collection, spreading his body wide to make it an impossible finish for the Icelandic forward.

Scotland heard manager Billy Stark’s calls for “one last push” all the way to the end, and nearly had an equaliser at the death. Mebude’s cross fell at the far side of the penalty area for substitute Barry Hepburn to meet. The Bayern youngster was desperately unlucky to see his shot strike the post and rebound into the arms of Georgsson.

Iceland Player of the Match: Orri Oskarsson

Oskarsson was at the heart of every Iceland attack and capped off an excellent performance with the winning goal.

Scotland Player of the Match: Murray Johnson

The Hibernian keeper made several outstanding one-on-one saves and showed excellent control over his penalty area.

Iceland Magic Moment:

The goal was ruled out for offside, but the chemistry and understanding between Oskarsson and Mikaelsson in the build-up was a sight to behold.

Scotland Magic Moment:

Murray Johnson’s double save in the opening exchanges was one of many things that showed how robust a goalkeeper he is.

Iceland U19s

1. Halldór Georgsson

3. Arnar Gíslason

4. Hlynur Karlsson

5. Þorsteinn Antonsson

6. Sigurbergur Jörundsson

7. Eggert Guðmundsson

8. Gísli Þórðarson

9. Hilmir Mikaelsson

10. Orri Oskarsson

14. Daniel Kristjánsson

16 Birgir Styrmisson


12. Ásgeir Magnússon

2. Arnar Aðalsteinsson

11. Adolf Birgisson

13. Bjarni Brynjólfsson

15. Daníel Guðjohnsen

17. Haukur Haraldsson

18. Aron Magnússon

19. Róbert Þorkelsson

20. Sigurður Björnsson

Scotland U19s

1. Murray Johnson

2. Ben McPherson

3. Mathew Anderson

5. Kerr Smith

7. Ryan Duncan

8. Mackenzie Carse

9. Finlay Pollock

10. Josh Adams

11. Adedire Mebude

14. Keiran Offord

16. Jacob Blaney


12. Liam McFarlane

4. Jack Harkness

6. Evan Towler

13. Barry Hepburn

15. Robbie Ure

17. Connor Allan

18. Dylan Reid

19. Murray Aiken

20. Bobby Wales



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