Ricky Sbragia vindicated in Harper row as U19s win

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SCOTLAND Under-19s proved they didn’t need Real Madrid superkid Jack Harper by beating hosts Austria 2-1 in the opening game of their Uefa Elite Round thanks to a double from Celtic ace Liam Henderson.

Manager Ricky Sbragia created an outcry this week when he revealed he didn’t include Harper because he wanted a more physical presence. But his young Scots got off to an ideal start thanks to midfielder Henderson, although Austria were reduced to nine men in Schwechat, near Vienna last night.

Liam Henderson's double secured the victory for the young Scots. Picture: Michael Gillen

Liam Henderson's double secured the victory for the young Scots. Picture: Michael Gillen

Scotland now face Italy tomorrow morning before ending the group with a game against Croatia on Tuesday, with a great chance of reaching the Finals in Greece in July, especially as Italy and Croatia drew yesterday.

Austria were reduced to ten men after just 16 minutes, Celtic’s Paul McMullan chopped down by Manuel Haas, who was shown a straight red card.

Nine minutes after the break McMullan’s cut back was drilled into the net by Henderson to give Sbragia’s Scots the breakthrough.

They doubled their advantage 11 minutes from the end when on-loan Chester City striker Oliver McBurnie was tripped in the box by Stefan Jonovic, who was sent off. Henderson made no mistake with the subsequent spot kick. Austria’s Marko Kvasina nicked a consolation five minutes from the end.

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