Scotland Under-21 side had to come from behind twice to secure a 2-2 draw with Austria in their European Championship Under-21 qualifier at St.Mirren Park. Two goals from Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes cancelled out strikes from Andreas Weimann and Deni Alar.
Scotland started the game well and had the first chance of the game when a Scott Allan free kick tested Heinz Lindner, after Jordan Rhodes had been brought down outside the box.
Rhodes went close for Scotland soon after when a pass from Scott Allan put the striker through one-on-one with Lindner, but he fired over the bar.
Despite Scotland having the better of the play early doors, it was Austria who took the lead on 17 minutes as Aston Villa striker Andreas Weimann hit a swerving shot from 25 yards out past Grant Adam in the Scotland goal.
Weimann came close to doubling Austria’s lead soon after but his shot went wide of Grant Adam’s right hand post.
Austria were now dominating proceedings with the Scots in the back foot, and without a timely block from Ryan Jack Austria could have had goal number two through a Christopher Drazan goal-bound header.
Just after the half hour mark, Scotland made Austria pay for those missed chances when Rangers midfielder Gregg Wylde sent a cross into the box for Jordan Rhodes to head home to bring Scotland level with their opponents.
Just five minutes later and Austria retook the lead when Deni Alar beat Grant Adam to a Thomas Hopfer cross to head past the Rangers youngster.
Austria came out of the traps quickest in the second half, and Adam was once again called into action saving an Andreas Weimann shot from 12 yards out.
Just after the hour mark and once again Scotland made Austria pay for their missed chances as Rhodes’ looping header beat Lindner, despite saving efforts from Alex MacDonald and Peter Pawlett before.
Scotland could have taken the lead as a cross from Gregg Wylde deceived Lindner and clipped the crossbar, before falling to Pawlett who could only fire wide.
The game ended with neither side finding that winning goal, but Billy Stark’s men continue their unbeaten start to their qualifying campaign. Next up for Scotland is a visit to the Netherlands to face the group leaders.
Goal scorer Rhodes said after the game: “I feel that I am a more intelligent player now. It has been difficult over the last three months getting used to the Scotland set up, being away from home, sharing room etc. However, the things I am learning from Billy (Stark) and the rest of the coaches will benefit me in the long run. I have to get used to playing a different game when playing international football. It is a more patient way of playing football.”
Scotland: Adam; Jack, Perry, Wilson, Hanlon; Palmer, Wotherspoon, Russell (Pawlett 61), Allan (MacDonald 45), Wylde (Griffiths 75), Rhodes
Austria: Lindner; Hart, Dibon, Windbichler (Schimpelsberger 69), Dilaver; Hopfer, Holzhauser, Schwab (Elsneg 77); Drazan, Weimann, Alar (Tadic 77)
Referee: A Vucemilovic-Simunovic (CRO)
Photos courtesy of Edinburgh Elite Photography