Scotland Under 19s ended their Elite Round group campaign with a deserved win against the Bulgaria in Croatia thanks to goals from Rangers’ Ryan Hardie and a penalty from Kilmarnock’s Greg Kiltie.
Scotland were already out before yesterday’s dead rubber in Kostrena after two defeats to Belgium and the hosts without scoring a goal, and it’s now ten years since Scotland last qualified from an Elite Round.
But Scot Gemmill’s side deserved to win yesterday and he praised his side’s performance. He said: “We haven’t become a bad team overnight – we have to hold our hands up and say Croatia were better than us, but I don’t think Belgium are.
“It was important for the players to show some character today.
“That was the main objective because we’ve not won our first two games and credit to the players because they did that.”
Scotland dominated at the start and grabbed their first goal of the tournament in the 15th minute.
Celtic right-back and Scotland captain Jack Breslin delivered a cross from the edge of the box and it was flicked into the net by Hardie.
But the Bulgarians crept increasingly into the game and they levelled seven minutes before the break after Celtic’s Joe Thomson was caught in possession in midfield and their captain, Aleksandar Georgiev, lashed past young Celtic goalkeeper Ross Doohan.
Scotland took the lead again with 12 minutes left after a Breslin cross was handled in the box by Georgieve and Kiltie stroked home the resulting penalty.