August 13, 2014
Kieran Preston delighted to make Scotland debut.
Such an amazing feeling making my first appearance for my country!
Head coach, Ricky Sbragia, upbeat despite defeat
Under-19 International Challenge Match
Belgium 2-0 Scotland
Tuesday, 12th August 2014, kick-off 7pm (local time)
Belgium National Training Centre, Tubize (Oulare 4′, Dimata 70′)
Ricky Sbragia was encouraged by the performance of his Scotland Under-19 despite losing 2-0 this evening against Belgium in Tubize.
A goal after four minutes from Mamadou Obbi Oulare and a second-half strike from Nany Dimata secured the win for Belgium. Despite the loss, Sbragia was encouraged by the performance of his side in their first match together at this age group. “Conceding an early goal meant that we had to dig in and defend well” Sbragia told the Scottish FA website.
“We played good football, with Paul McMullan, Jack Harper and Alex Jakubiak creating half-chances, but unfortunately we couldn’t take them.” With Scotland hoping to emulate this year’s Under-17 team and reach the European Championships next summer, the former Sunderland manager welcomed the challenge posed by Belgium before their qualification campaign begins in October.
“It was an end-to-end game against a very dangerous Belgium side. They had good pace, strength and were technically superb, but we were able to match them in these departments. “At 2-0 down we changed our pattern of play, and that brought us some joy. We threatened their goal through Aiden Nesbitt, and on reflection we definitely merited a goal for our efforts.”
Overall, despite the defeat, the match has been useful for the team. “It has been a great experience for our players, especially those who have moved up from Under-17 and Under-18 level. “It was the first match that these boys have played as a squad, and it is really promising to see us perform against a very talented Belgium side. In general, we’re happy with how we played.”
Scotland’s next fixture is a friendly against the Czech Republic next month at Cappielow Park, Greenock.
Scotland: Hart (Preston 70′), Sinnamon (Dryden 70′), Lavelle (Martin 60′), McKenna, Waters, Storie (Dykes 70′), Grant (McManus 60′), Beith (Nesbitt 60′), McMullan, Harper (Annan 70′), Jakubiak.