Hibs defender Ryan Porteous took a significant step in his bid to get back to full fitness as he came through the full 90 minutes of Scotland Under-21s’ rousing 2-1 victory away to their Croatia counterparts.
The 20-year-old centre-back has only recently returned to contention following a lengthy lay-off with a knee injury and last night’s outing in Pula marked only his second competitive appearance since January following a 90-minute run-out for Hibs Colts in their Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup defeat by Elgin City last month.
Porteous played no part in Scotland Under-21s’ routine 2-0 win over San Marino in Paisley last Thursday but, as one of Scot Gemmill’s senior players, he was required for action in the more demanding fixture of this month’s European Championship qualifying double-header.
Porteous, who was booked late in the first half, will have been delighted to come through such a tough match after being sidelined for most of 2019. Having being an unused substitute for Hibs’ first team in their two matches prior to the break, the highly-regarded academy graduate will hope to finally make his first competitive appearance under Paul Heckingbottom when the struggling Edinburgh side resume their Premiership campaign away to Kilmarnock on Saturday.
On-loan Hibs winger Glenn Middleton, who scored against San Marino last week, came on as a 78th-minute substitute in Croatia last night and helped the young Scots turn around a 1-0 deficit in the closing stages of the match.
Meanwhile, Hibs midfielder Vykintas Slivka was restored to Lithuania’s starting line-up last night as they lost 1-5 in a Euro 2020 qualifier at home to Portugal, for whom Cristiano Ronaldo scored four. Slivka had been a substitute in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Ukraine.