Celtic’s 14-year-old starlet Karamoko Dembele came off the bench to be involved in four goals as Scotland thumped Qatar 7-0 in the Under-16 International Tournament.
The crowd at the Oriam in Edinburgh were wowed by the pace and skill of the precocious youngster as he netted one fine solo goal in the opening match of the competition. He assisted another, while being brought down for a converted penalty and he also sent in a free-kick which eventually led to a goal.
Much had been made of the player when he played for Celtic Under-20s in a Development League match aged just 13, with both Scotland and England keen for the player to represent them, having turned out for England Under-15s. He has attracted interest from a number of clubs. However, he signed a Scottish FA Youth Registration with Celtic in June.
His display will only have increased the fascination of this most promising of talents, although he did have to settle for a place on the bench as the game got under way.
Andrew Winter coolly slid Scotland into the lead after 17 minutes before the young Scots won a penalty in the 34th minute. Cole Starrs saw his spot-kick saved pushed on to the post by the Qatari goalkeeper but he dispatched the rebound.
Starrs scored his second and Scotland’s third after half-time, finishing off a patient and well worked move.
The it was the Dembele show. On as a substitute, he used his lightning pace to scamper into the box before being brought down. Michael Sparkes got on the scoresheet with a composed penalty.
However, Dembele wouldn’t be denied, netting his goal less than four minutes later. Once again he sped away down the right hand side, cut on to his left foot before firing in to give Scotland a 5-0 lead before the hour mark.
In the 66th minute Dembele’s teasing free-kick was not dealt with by the Qatari defence and Jamie Hamilton scrambled in a sixth.
The scoring was finished as the clock ticked to 77 minutes. Dembele picked up possession in the middle of the pitch, drove forward and slid a beautifully weighted pass into the path of Sparkes who grabbed his second.