Six Celtic youngsters crashed to a disastrous 4-0 defeat in Portugal with Scotland under-19s that rules them out of this summer’s Euro 2019 tournament.
In an unfortunate evening in Boavista, young Celt Robbie Deas was sent off early in the second half. It was for a second bookable offence, whilst three other Celtic youths started the clash.
Daniel Church, Ryan Mullen, Deas, and Ewan Henderson were all on from the start. Reserve team captain Kerr McInroy came on in the closing stages with Scotland down to nine men. Rangers’ Stephen Kelly was the other youngster red carded.
Only Jack Aitchison wasn’t involved despite being named as a substitute. And the result ultimately spells the end for the young Scots.
Scotland had performed well throughout the past week. They recorded impressive 3-1 and 4-0 wins over Turkey and Cyprus respectively. The Celtic boys all played their part too, with Deas scoring a big goal against the Turks on match-day one.
Portugal take the only qualification slot
The Euro 2019 Elite Round of qualifying only allows one team to go through. Today’s contest was a do-or-die clash. Scotland and Portgual both went into the game on six points with level goal difference. Just a draw would’ve been enough for Scotland to top the group.
The young Scots, however, were 2-0 down within 21 minutes. The further two goals came in the second 45 after both sendings off. It was a cruel way to end a generally positive week.
For the Celtic lads, they have to keep their heads up. There remains a Reserve League title to win this season. The likes of Deas and Aitchison, meanwhile, must go back to their loan clubs and perform.
Neil Lennon will be keeping his eye on the next bright light to shine out of Lennoxtown. It’s fair to say that there are plenty of those at the moment.
Today’s result was pretty much symbolic of Scotland’s week all-round. The senior side have hardly covered themselves in glory either. At the very least, the under-19s can say they came within touching distance of their goal. Beating Portugal in their home nation was always going to be a tough ask.
But now, it’s about pushing on for the young Celts ahead of a big climax to the season.