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Scotland U21s edged out by Denmark in Euro qualifier

Scotland v Denmark – UEFA Under-21 Championship – Qualifying Round – Group I – Tynecastle Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Scotland Under-21s suffered a blow in their quest to reach the 2023 European Championships as they lost 1-0 to Denmark at Tynecastle.

Gustav Isaksen of Midtjylland scored the game’s only goal early on but the impressive visitors could have won more convincingly if they had been more clinical in front of goal.

The defeat leaves Scot Gemmill’s team on one point after two games of their bid to qualify for the finals in Georgia and Romania, five points adrift of joint Group I leaders Denmark and Belgium.

Goalkeeper Cieran Slicker, Harrison Ashby, Lewis Fiorini and Jack Burroughs all came into the Scotland team as Gemmill made four changes to the side that drew 1-1 away to Turkey in the opening match of the campaign.

The hosts had the first attempt in the fourth minute when West Ham right-back Ashby fired over from 20 yards out.

It was the Danes who looked slicker in the early stages, however, and they went ahead after 12 minutes when Isaksen curled in a lovely low left-footed shot from 20 yards out.

The same player then fired just wide from the edge of the box in the 18th minute.

Denmark looked set to double their lead in the 25th minute when Jesper Lindstrom ran clear but Slicker got down to make a fine save.

The Manchester City keeper then pulled off another impressive stop in the 32nd minute when William Boving Vik cut in from the left and fired in a low angled shot which Slicker did well to push behind.

The Danes had a good chance to extend their advantage four minutes after the break but Lindstrom blazed over from just inside the box.

Scotland almost equalised with their first shot on target in the 55th minute but Glenn Middleton’s powerful strike from the edge of the box was blocked by keeper Mads Hermansen.

Seconds later Lindstrom ran clear and should have scored but the Danish attacker clipped his shot over the advancing Slicker and wide of target.

Maurits Kjaergaard then saw a firm shot from the edge of the box saved by Slicker in the 70th minute.

The Scots almost levelled in stoppage time but substitute Scott Banks saw his powerful strike from just inside the area beaten away by Hermansen.