Ben Doak impresses as Scotland Under-21s concede late in narrow defeat to Euro finalists Spain

Scotland Under-21 head coach Scot Gemmill. (Photo: SNS Group Paul Devlin)
Scotland Under-21 head coach Scot Gemmill. (Photo: SNS Group Paul Devlin)

Scot Gemmill’s side had made a bright start, with Liverpool teenager Ben Doak forcing an early save from Spain keeper Pablo Cunat following a scintillating run that left Spanish defenders for dead from a short corner.

Scotland continued to take the game to Spain – beaten by England in the Euro 2023 final – as Dundee midfielder Lyall Cameron shot over. The impressive Doak remained a threat and sent a high effort off-target from the edge of the penalty area.

Spain – who thrashed Malta 6-0 in their opening Group B fixture last week – were finding it difficult to create any clear openings as half-time approached, with Pablo Barrios unable to keep his shot down. The hosts, though, offered more of an attacking threat in the second half.

A deep cross from Wolves full-back Hugo Bueno dropped through to Ilias Akhomach at the far post, but the Villarreal winger’s angled shot sailed over.

Spain remained on the front foot, and just before the hour Girona midfielder Pablo Torre was unfortunate to see his low shot from the edge of the penalty area hit the outside of a post past a diving Cieran Slicker.

The breakthrough eventually came with just seven minutes left when a corner from the right was headed in by Real Sociedad midfielder Turrientes as Spain maintained their 100 per cent start.

Gemmill’s squad will now regroup and look to produce a response in the October double-header against Hungary and Malta at Fir Park.