How Hibs trio and Hearts pair fared in Scotland Under-17s' opening game of Euro 2023
Easter Road defender Owen Hastie and midfielder Jacob MacIntyre started for Brian McLaughlin’s side in Debrecen, while Rudi Molotnikov was named among the substitutes. Jambos full-back Rocco Friel started on the right of a back four and coped well with the threat of with Saimon Bouabre, while Tynecastle colleague Bobby McLuckie remained an unused substitute.
Scotland got off to the worst possible start, conceding a soft goal in the opening five minutes as Yanis Issoufou opened the scoring, the Montpellier forward having the relatively simple task of tapping into an empty net from Aymen Sadi’s cross from the right, but the Scots grew into the game for the remainder of the half with Hamilton Accies forward Ryan One proving a handful for Bastien Meupiyou and Joane Gadou at the heart of the France defence and Hastie clearing an effort off the line and blocking another goal-bound effort.
One glanced a header just wide from a MacIntyre cross midway through the half while France also hit the woodwork and worked Rory Mahady in the Scotland goal but there was nothing the Leeds United ‘keeper could do to stop Gadou’s header from Bouabre’s cross on the stroke of half-time.
McLaughlin made a tactical switch at the break with MacIntyre making way as Kilmarnock defender Ruari Ellis was introduced to the action. Scotland continued to repel France and with 20 minutes remaining One set up Rory Wilson who reduced the deficit.
Molotnikov entered the fray immediately after, replacing Bailey Rice, but almost immediately the French were awarded a penalty after Rangers’ Leyton Grant was adjudged to have fouled Mohamed-Amine Bouchenna of Clermont in the area.
Mahady saved Ismael Bouneb’s spot-kick but France restored their two-goal lead moments later when a cross from substitute Tidiam Gomis of Caen was pushed out by the shot-stopper only to rebound off the unfortunate Ellis and into the net.
France had another chance from the spot in injury time after Grant was again penalised for a foul in the area, this time on Joan Tincres, but the Monaco youth was also denied from 12 yards by Mahady, and the game finished 3-1 to the French.