Young Scots triumph

First-half goals from Oliver Burke and Oliver McBurnie earned Scotland Under-21s a comfortable 2-0 win over Latvia in their Euro 2019 qualifier.

Scott Gemmill’s side bounced back from a 3-1 defeat to England last week by navigating a difficult pitch and tricky conditions to claim an important three points.

Skipper Burke opened the scoring with his second goal since dropping down to this level and was influential throughout, while McBurnie’s header in the 19th minute secured a comfortable cushion in Liepaja.

The result means Scotland move second in the table after the Netherlands dropped points, leaving Gemmill’s side in a decent position to reach the finals in Italy in two years’ time.

It was a fast start by the visitors, and they could have been ahead in the second minute when Lewis Morgan found himself unmarked in the box, but he could not get the power or the direction on his header to trouble the Latvia goalkeeper.

However, the deadlock was broken barely 15 minutes later as Morgan found space and a perfectly-weighted ball split the defence, before West Brom forward Burke coolly slotted past Kristaps Zommers for his second goal in three matches.

The lively Morgan was then scythed down out wide, and Dominic Thomas’s fine free-kick was nodded into the corner by McBurnie to double the lead just three minutes later.

However, the hosts improved after the second goal. Greg Taylor was in the right place to clear off the line after Marks Kurtiss’ header, before Ryan Fulton produced a string of saves before the end of the half to keep the lead at 2-0.

He was quick off the line to smother an attempt from Raivis Jurkovskis after he found himself well clear of the defence from a long ball and should have done better, before Vladislavs Sorokins burst into the area and shot across the keeper who beat the ball away confidently.

Sorokins again found space inside the area after the break but headed straight at Fulton as Scotland eased through the second half and could have furthered their lead only for Chris Cadden to smash against the bar from 12 yards out.

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