European Championships: Austria U21 3-2 Scotland U21

Raphael Holzhauser celebrates after scoring the late winner for Austria's Under-21s
Raphael Holzhauser celebrates after scoring the late winner for Austria's Under-21s

Scotland's Under-21 European Championship qualification hopes were dashed after Austria came from behind to win with a stoppage-time goal.

Billy Stark's side had already finished second behind the Netherlands, but only the four best runners-up join the 10 group winners in the play-off round.

The Scots responded to Michael Gregoritsch's early goal through Tony Watt and Johnny Russell.

But Andreas Weimann and Raphael Holzhauser won it for the home side.

Watt was left disappointed despite scoring in Austria
Watt was left disappointed despite scoring in Austria

It was the Scots' first defeat of their Group 10 campaign, but too many draws meant they did not finish among the four best runners-up ahead of next summer's finals in Israel.

Having lost Jordan Rhodes and James Forrest to the senior squad, and Gary Mackay-Steven to a knee injury, Stark had been deprived of another attacking option when Leigh Griffiths pulled out through illness after scoring in Thursday's 3-0 win over Luxembourg.

And Austria started on the front foot, with Gregoritsch heading into the roof of the net in the eighth minute after getting in front of Ryan Jack to meet an inswinging cross from the right.

Aston Villa forward Weimann went close to increasing the lead before Russell missed a great chance, only able to fire straight at the home goalkeeper Jorg Siebenhandl after being put through by Paul Hanlon.

Stefan Schwab squandered a couple of chances for Austria before Celtic striker Watt headed over the onrushing goalkeeper.

Scotland survived a spell of pressure to stun the hosts in the 74th minute when Dundee United striker Russell pounced to score after the goalkeeper fumbled a Watt drive.

Just like their 2-2 draw in Bulgaria in May, Scotland lost an instant equaliser when Ross Perry failed to deal with a cross from the left and the ball spun off his knee and fell for Weimann, who dived to head home from six yards.

Hanlon and Watt both manufactured chances as the Scots pressed for the win they knew was necessary to qualify.

However, substitute Gregg Wylde lost the ball on the left wing and Austria broke quickly to set up a two-against-two before Holzhauser ran into the box and fired across goalkeeper Jordan Archer and into the far corner.

Austria U21: Siebenhandl, Dibon, Meilinger (Holzhauser 85), Weimann, Schwab (Ritzmaier 60), Gregoritsch (Sabitzer 68), Wimmer, Grozurek, Prietl, Klem, Sollbauer. Subs Not Used: Riegler, Mally, Kainz, Wernitznig.

Booked: Weimann, Sollbauer, Klem, Dibon, Grozurek.

Goals: Gregoritsch 8,Weimann 75,Holzhauser 90.

Scotland U21: Archer, Jack, Hanlon, Wilson, Perry, Kelly, Armstrong (Wylde 83), Allan (Pawlett 60), Watt, Russell, Wotherspoon. Subs Not Used: Bain, Toshney, Shinnie, McLean, McCabe.

Booked: Wotherspoon, Kelly, Russell.

Goals: Watt 54, Russell 75.

Att: 800

Ref: Mattias Gestranius (Finland)

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