Gem­mill gut­ted as classy Croa­t­ians kill off young Scots’ Euro hopes

The Herald - Herald Sport - - SCOTLAND UNDER-21 -

but I’m sure it’s the same for ev­ery team. I’m sure ev­ery team had to ad­just their team in some way. I def­i­nitely wouldn’t use it an ex­cuse.

“Some­times in football you get beat by the bet­ter team. Croa­tia were very im­pres­sive and scored some very good goals. But we have to re­mem­ber the level we are play­ing at.

“Of course we are dis­ap­pointed and we didn’t ex­pect this to hap­pen, but if they are go­ing to be play­ing football for next 15 years then they need to learn that it hap­pen.

“We need them to de­velop and learn from this. Yes, we are dis­ap­pointed, but hope­fully in the fu­ture they will use this ex­pe­ri­ence to be­come bet­ter play­ers.

“It’s about them us­ing this ex­pe­ri­ence. This should be a mo­ti­va­tion, al­though right now it’s dis­ap­point­ing and raw.”

Af­ter an early chance for Scot­land, when Rangers striker Ryan Hardie fired an an­gled ef­fort over the bar, the hosts took com­mand.

They made their pres­sure pay with the open­ing goal in the 36th minute when An­twerp striker Fran Brodic, with his back to goal, re­ceived the ball from a cor­ner and ex­e­cuted a per­fect back heel past Robby McCrorie and into the net.

Hardie had a cou­ple of op­por­tu­ni­ties be­fore the break to re­store par­ity, but could take nei­ther and it got worse for the young Scots two min­utes af­ter the in­ter­val when Croa­tia killed the game off af­ter Tomis­lav Turcin was left com­pletely un­marked to head home.

The home side were com­fort­able by this stage, al­though Scot­land at least pressed more in the sec­ond half. They man­aged their first shot on tar­get in the 69th minute, but Hardie’s at­tempt was eas­ily saved.

The con­test was well and truly over with 13 min­utes left when a well-worked free kick caught out Scot­land and Josip Brekalo cracked in a flash­ing drive.

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