Red card saved Scotland Under-21s, says Ricky Sbragia

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland at St Mirren Park
Scotland Under-21 defender Dominic Hyam is sent off
Scotland's Hyam (far right) was dismissed in stoppage time

Scotland Under-21 coach Ricky Sbragia admitted Dominic Hyam's red card saved his side from defeat against Ukraine.

With the score at 2-2, Hyam was dismissed for taking down Denys Bezborodko when the striker was clean through on an open goal.

Goalkeeper Jack Hamilton had been beaten after rushing out of his area as Ukraine countered-attacked.

"He did what he thought was right at the time and from our point of view it's worked well for us," said Sbragia.

"It could've been 3-2; I think he would've scored it. We got away with that in a sense but we had chances to win it too."

Dymtro Khlobas put Ukraine in front at St Mirren Park before Jason Cummings and Callum Paterson had Scotland in front at the break.

Valerii Luchkevych and Liam Henderson
Henderson (right) missed a good chance for Scotland in the second half

Liam Henderson spurned Scotland's best chance after half-time before Oleksandr Svatok made it 2-2 with less than 10 minutes left.

"If Liam Henderson had put that one away it becomes 3-1 and a little bit different," Sbragia told BBC Scotland.

"But we weren't clinical enough and that's disappointing. We asked them to give us everything they could and they've done that, but just sometimes when we get chances we need to put them away.

"Overall, I was quite pleased with it. There's not a bad team in the group so we know it's going to be difficult."

Scotland move on to five points in Group 3 - six behind leaders Iceland, who have played a game more.

Senior squad member Andy Robertson played at left-back for Sbragia's team, which was watched from the stand by Scotland coach Gordon Strachan.

"It's been great having him and great learning from him," Sbragia said of Strachan.

"The players were really pleased to see him and had conversations with him. It motivates them that there is a pathway between the Under-21 squad and the A squad."

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