Scotland have kicked off their European Under-19 Championships Qualification Round in Croatia today with a 3-2 defeat with Armenia despite having held a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Adam Brooks of Celtic and Manchester City youngster Liam Smith
Billy Stark’s side face three games over the coming days as they look to take a step closer to next year’s finals and got off to a strong start when Brooks scored the opener from the penalty spot with 12 minutes on the clock.
#SCO19s | Your Scotland Under-19s team taking on Armenia this morning.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) November 10, 2021
The Parkhead youngster dusted himself off after being fouled by Hayrapetyan before cooly finishing and giving Scotland the lead.
Just before half-time, Manchester City teen Liam Smith doubled Scotland’s advantage, as the 18-year-old midfielder netted two minutes before the opening 45 came to an end.
Scotland were good value for their lead as the sides made their way off at the break, making the most of their chances and putting the Armenian defence on the backfoot as they tried to kill the game off.
With no changes at the break for Scotland, it was Stark’s side who started the second period in control, going close with a number of efforts in the search for a third goal and boost their goal difference.
Things very quickly turned though as Armenia scored twice in a matter of minutes to draw level and stun Scotland – Hayrapetyan scoring on 62 minutes before Hamlet Minasyan levelled things up on the 64th minute.
As Stark’s side were on the ropes, Armenia turned the game on its head compeltely when they took a 3-2 lead on 71 minutes and immediately sparked some action from the Scotland bench as Robert Apter and Matthew Craig replaced Cole McKinnon and Chris Mochrie.
The changes couldn’t spark any life back into Scotland though as Armenai held on for a remarkable win as Scotland’s qualifying campaign got off to the worst start possible.
Next up for Stark’s side is a clash with Gibraltar in Zagreb in three day’s time before rounding off the group with a clash against hosts, Croatia on November 16.
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