Netherlands U21 1-2 Scotland U21

Jordan Rhodes and James Forrest celebrate
Rhodes put the young Scots ahead within the first minute in Nijmegen

David Wotherspoon's second-half drive gave Scotland an excellent victory over Group 10 favourites the Netherlands in the European Under-21 Championships.

The Scots were ahead after only 59 seconds in Nijmegen when Jordan Rhodes rose to head in his sixth goal in his last three under-21 internationals.

Scots keeper Mark Ridgers was adjudged to have carried an Adam Maher cross over his own line after 12 minutes.

But Wotherspoon fired the winner 10 minutes after the break from 16 yards.

The victory lifts Billy Stark's side into second place in their qualifying group, a point behind the Dutch, who went into the game with a 100% record from their previous three games and next travel to Scotland in February.

And it goes some way to negating the points lost when drawing at home to Austria and Bulgaria.

Scotland got off to a flying start when Forrest beat his marker for pace and Rhodes rose to head down into the corner of the net from 14 yards following the Celtic winger's cross.

The fluent Dutch started to look increasingly dangerous, but it took a goalkeeping error and a controversial decision by the officials to put the home side level.

Maher overhit his cross into the penalty box from a free-kick and, when Ridgers let it slip from his grasp under the crossbar, the Russian linesman ruled that the ball had crossed the line as the keeper clutched it to his chest.

The Dutch took heart and Nacer Barazite, a one-time Arsenal youth and Rangers trialist now with Austria Vienna, fired into the side-netting and Ridgers redeemed himself by pushing wide a close-range drive from Luciano Narsingh before stretching to prevent Danny Wilson scoring another own goal.

It was Ridgers to the rescue again after the break, when the man on loan to East Fife from Hearts beat away drives from Twente winger Ola John and Groningen defender Virgil van Dijk.

David Wotherspoon and Gregg Wylde
Wotherspoon (left) got the winner for Billy Stark's side

Scotland steadied themselves and Huddersfield striker Rhodes should have done better than head wide from five yards from a Gregg Wylde cross to the front post.

Marco Bizot looked at fault as the Scots restored their lead, Ryan Jack's ball into the box finding Wotherspoon and the Hibs midfielder's low drive powered past the Ajax goalkeeper from 16 yards.

The Scots were looking increasingly dangerous on the break and Forrest fired wide from the edge of the box, a Rhodes volley skimmed the crossbar and a Wotherspoon half-volley flew just wide from 25 yards.

Impressive centre-half Van Dyke, who had been pushed up front as an auxiliary striker, missed a couple of late chances as the young Scots boosted their chances of reaching their first European finals since 1996.

Netherlands U21: Bizot, Leerdam, De Vrij, van Dijk, Burnet (Schalk 86), Clasie, Fer, Barazite, Narsingh, Maher (Bacuna 72), Ola John (Van Aanholt 72). Subs Not Used: Padt, Rienstra, Kieftenbeld.

Booked: Fer.

Goals: Maher 12.

Scotland U21: Ridgers, Jack, Wilson, Perry, Hanlon, Forrest (Pawlett 84), Kelly, Cairney (Palmer 71), Wotherspoon, Wylde (Griffiths 90), Rhodes. Subs Not Used: Archer, Cole, Allan, Russell.

Booked: Wotherspoon.

Goals: Rhodes 2, Wotherspoon 55.

Att: 8,000

Ref: Vladimir Kazmenko (Rostov-on-Don).

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