Liverpool's Ben Doak 'on treatment table after taking sore one' for Scotland Under-21s

Scotland Under-21 boss Scot Gemmill hailed Liverpool’s Ben Doak but said that his side had to learn lessons after Iceland gave them a timely reminder of the standards needed at this level.

Scotland's Ben Doak goes down injured during the Under-21 friendly defeat to Iceland at Fir Park. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Scotland's Ben Doak goes down injured during the Under-21 friendly defeat to Iceland at Fir Park. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The home side were punished after passing up several first-half chances and in a classic game of two halves they saw their 1-0 advantage turned over after the interval.

While unhappy with the way his side allowed the game to slip away from them, the Scotland gaffer said that his team’s second-half performance was a teaching moment for the eight debutants.

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“It was really exciting to see the players in the first half with how dangerous we can be and how many chances we created. But you have to take them.”

Max Johnston, son of ex-Hearts winger Allan, who scored twice in his 18 appearances for the full national team, opened the scoring after he galloped forward and played a one-two with Doak before rifling his effort into the net. But further chances were wasted as Scotland failed to turn their superiority into a more convincing scoreline, and a Kristall Mani Ingasson double gave the visitors victory.

“You have to credit Iceland in the second half because they really hustled us in the first 20 minutes. I've spoken to the players because that's the challenge. We've got a lot of new players who need to get up to speed with the level but we have to keep it in context in working towards this new generation.

“We're not going home too disappointed because of the first half. The first 20 minutes of the second half, ridiculously, could help us next year because we need to show that level and they need that reaction. Now it's happened, we have to make sure it doesn't happen again.”

But he was pleased with the input of 17-year-old Doak, who used his pace and drive to good effect in the opening 45 minutes.

“We're all very confident of the potential Ben has but he still has to go and do it. Credit to him, he did it again. He's disappointed he didn't score and he's on the treatment table after taking a sore one. It's very exciting and there is a lot to look forward to but that 20 minutes of the second half is the real learning point.”

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