Under 21s Still On Course

By Meganjack
Last updated : 04 September 2010
Chris Maguire scored a second-half penalty in Borisov that earned Scotland Under-21s a 1-1 draw with Belarus. The result keeps them on course for a UEFA Championship play-off if they can beat Autria on Tuesday at Pittodrie. The Aberdeen striker equalised in the 64th minute after Paul Coutts had been brought down in the box. Belarus had been in the lead since the 36th minute when Pavel Nekhaychik scored after Coutts had given away a free-kick just outside the box. But Maguire's equaliser means Billy Stark's Scotland players will top the group if they beat Austria. Scotland, Belarus and Austria are sitting on 14 points going into Tuesday's final round of qualifiers. Scotland take on Austria while Belarus take on Azerbaijan. It is all to play for as only the section winners will definitely go into next Friday's play-off draw.

Stark was glad to escape from Belarus with a hard-earned point which, more realistically, keeps his team in with chance of qualifying as one of the best runners-up. He said: "
It's a good result for us. We had prepared for the game and we knew the Belarusian team is very strong. We have great respect for them and so we worked hard and got what I think is a good result. I think that Belarus will win their next match so it was important not to lose this match. If Belarus beat Azerbaijan they will have 17 points. In that case Scotland or Austria will have a chance to qualify from second place."
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)

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