Monday, October 11, 2010

Scotland U21 v Iceland U21

An impressive effort from Scotland's Under 21s tonight but, typically for a Scottish team, to no avail as Iceland repeated their 2-1 victory from the first leg.

Against a strong, and more experienced, Icelandic side Scotland enjoyed the better of the game but their failure to turn their first half dominance into a goal certainly made this spectator jittery at half time.

They were also up against Gylfi Sigurdsson who Hoffenheim rated highly enough in the summer to give Reading over £6.5 million for his signature. His two unstoppable efforts in the second half were proof of the quality that his first half movement - with Scotland's defenders and midfielders continually losing track of him - hinted at.

A bit of quality of our own, mind. Aston Villa winger Barry Bannan proved almost unplayable in the first half, it's many a moon since Easter Road saw the kind of wing-play that had my dad declaring him a "throwback." A most welcome throw back and, refreshingly, he looks capable of having an impact on either wing.

And Chris Maguire's equaliser was a joy to behold.

A tough one for the Scots to take but it's up to this squad to move on and force their way into the senior squad. At least their performances of late have hinted that future might not be as dark as we sometimes fear.

* In over 25 years of being a regular - and irregular - at Easter Road two of the most spectacular goals I've seen have come in representative matches. MaGuire's effort tonight joins a Darren Jackson volley against Northern Ireland B back in 1995. Sadly I don't think video evidence of that one exists.

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