Scotland Under 21s Reach Euro Playoff

While the full national squad struggle from game to game, the under 21s go from strength to strength.

Players celebrate late goal at Pittodrie
Scotland Under-21s are two matches away from the European Championships after a late Chris Maguire goal fired them into the play-offs. The Aberdeen striker grabbed a golden goal at his home ground to sink Austria in the all or nothing final group game.

Billy Stark’s side went into the match knowing that a win would guarantee progress to the play-off stages. However, things did not go to plan as Austria took the lead after just 10 minutes.

Marko Arnautovic was first to latch on to a loose pass from Danny Wilson and streaked forward before firing in a 25-yard shot that found its way fast Alan Martin in the Scotland goal and into the bottom corner of the net.

Scotland recovered well from the early setback and Austria keeper Heinz Lindner was forced to save from a Chris Maguire shot after good work by Paul Caddis, Wlison had a chance with a header from a Scotland corner but Austria went close to doubling their lead with a Fabian Koch shot that went wide.

David Goodwillie then saw a speculative effort go wide before Scotland equalised on 26 minutes. Caddis was a creative force once again and his corss from the right was met by the boot of Barry Bannan. The Aston Villa starlet cushioned the ball before smashing a left foot shot into the top corner.

It was end to end stuff and Arnautovic’s free kick from 35-yards was aved before Maguire passed up a chance from a corner. At half-time there was no separating the sides.

Scotland came out stronger after the break and Paul Coutts and substitute James Forrest both had shots save. Arnautovic was a constant thorn in their side though and only the post prevented him from giving Austria the lead.

Bannan had a chance to get his second of the match after dribbling into the box but saw his chip go wide and Scott Arfield tested Lindner with a powerful drive.

Time was running out but there was late joy for Scotland. James Forrest laid the ball off for Maguire and after taking a touch, the Aberdeen striker smashed in a top corner shot from outside the box that gave Scotland a dramatic win and saw them make the playoffs through a worthy strike.

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