Scotland’s Under-19s will qualify for their first Euro finals in 12 years if they can defeat Norway in their final Euro Elite Round tie on Tuesday and hosts Germany fail to beat the Netherlands, after a double from Celtic’s Jack Aitchison stunned the Dutch yesterday.
Donald Park’s young side produced a heroic performance in Arnsberg and bounced back superbly from their 3-0 opening day defeat by Germany.
A second-half double from Aitchison saw the Scots reap the rewards of an excellent performance and Park was thrilled with his side’s efforts.
“If you looked in the dressing room after the game, you could see what it meant to the boys. It’s a shot in the arm for everyone,” Park said.
“It was a thoroughly deserved win for us and we’ve got a real chance of qualifying now.
“The first half was very, very even, but in the second half we definitely deserved it because we created chances and scored two cracking goals from Jack. So we are very, very pleased.
“Everyone in the team was super – the back four were immense and they all worked their socks off in the team, but big Fraser Hornby was terrific. I think he’s got a real chance in the game.
“To be in this position when we are in the last game knowing that if we win against Norway we are in with a chance of qualifying is just great.”
Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway all sit on three points after two games after the Norwegians – who were hammered by the Dutch 6-1 on the opening day – surprisingly thrashed hosts Germany 5-2.
It means that a Scotland win and anything other than a win for the World Cup holders against the Dutch would be enough to see Scotland qualify.
Park rang the chances – only Aidan Wilson, Aitchison, Hornby and Lewis Ferguson retained their place in the team from that defeat in Lippstadt.
It took a fine hooked, volleyed clearance on his own goal line from Celtic’s Robbie Deas to clear a goalbound header from Holland’s Cody Gakpo midway through the first half.
The Scots were denied the opener after Hornby cut back for Rangers’ Glenn Middleston, who saw his effort saved by PSV Eindhoven keeper Mike van de Meulehof.
Then a free -kick floated into the box by Hamilton Accies’ Lewis Ferguson caused havoc in the Dutch box, but the ball just wouldn’t land at the feet of any of the Scots in the box.
And Dutch captain Armando Obispo was lucky to escape with a booking just before the break when he scythed down Ferguson on the edge of the box with the midfielder preparing to shoot. But Hornby could only drive the resulting free-kick straight into the wall.
Scotland continued where they left off after the break and an intelligent lay-off from the alert Hornby set up Middleton, but the new Rangers signing’s attempted chip was too high.
And Scotland took a richly deserved lead in the 65th minute after Hornby had showed his pace and power to burst through to feed Middleton. He teed up the onrushing Aitchison, who took a touch before walloping the ball into the top corner.
Scotland had to defend for their lives with captain Aidan Wilson and Celtic’s Stephen Welsh immense and they stunned Holland by doubling their advantage with nine minutes left when he tapped in a rebound after Ferguson had a shot blocked to spark off Scottish celebrations.