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Young Scots end International window with disappointing double defeat

Scotland U21’s ended their preparations for the upcoming U21 European Championship Qualifiers in September with two disappointing defeats to Sweden and Wales in Murcia.

Scot Gemmill’s side began their double header with a narrow 3-2 defeat to Sweden on Thursday, and ended with a hugely disappointing 3-0 loss to Wales on Sunday.

The Young Scots had to contend with a number of withdrawals from Gemmill’s initial squad.

Liverpool wonderkid Ben Doak missed out after he was taken off in Liverpool’s UEFA Youth League match against FC Sporting with a head knock, while Rangers defender Leon King was left out of contention with a thigh injury. Connor McAvoy was also forced to withdraw after he picked up a season ending injury at Partick Thistle.

Up first was Sweden.

Gemmill handed out U21 debuts to three of his squad with Dire Mebude, Ben Summers and Jeremiah Mullen all earning their first caps at this level. Captain Josh Doig also returned to the squad after missing out on the last friendly against Iceland in November.

Azeem Abdulai, Josh Adam and Cole McKinnon came on during the match to also earn their first U21 caps.

It was one of the debutants who gave Scotland the lead on 10 minutes when Mebude glided into the opposition box and fired a shot into the net.

That lead lasted only four minutes when Hugo Larsson equalised for the Swedes, firing low past Cieran Slicker to draw his side level.

Sweden took the lead 15 minutes into the second half when Otto Rosengren picked up the ball from Noah Persson, to place the ball past Slicker giving his side the advantage.

The Swedes added a third to take the game away from Scotland five minutes from time when a clipped ball into the box found Joel Mendes who set up Rooney Bardghji to coolly slot past Slicker with his left foot.

Lewis Fiorini added a consolation in added time with a wonderful right footed volley from 20 yards into the keeper’s bottom right corner. It was an opening defeat for Scotland but one with many positives to take going into their second fixture against Wales on Sunday.

What followed saw Gemmill’s young side brought crashing back to earth as they were comfortably dispatched by their Welsh counterparts.

Josh Farrell opened the scoring with a powerful effort, which goalkeeper Slicker was unable to keep out despite getting a touch on the ball.

The Welsh youngsters added a second five minutes before half-time when Joe Low got a head onto Farrell’s corner to double his side’s lead at the break.

Wales would complete the scoring six minutes into the second half when a ball from Rubin Colwill with the outside of his boot found Josh Thomas who swept home at the back post to add his team’s third of the afternoon.

A lot of work still to be done for the Scotland Under 21 side, who begin their European Championship Qualifying campaign against Spain on 12th September.



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