Lowry and Bowie on target as Scotland Under-21s survive Malta scare

The victory at Fir Park is Scotland's second Euro 2025 qualifying win in four days.

Lowry and Bowie on target as Scotland Under-21s survive Malta scare SNS Group

Scotland Under-21s survived a scare to defeat Malta 2-1 and record their second Euro 2025 qualifying victory in four days.

Alex Lowry opened the scoring in the 31st minute from the penalty spot, though the Scots would be made to pay for not making the most of their chances when Andrea Zammit equalised after the visitors were awarded a spot-kick of their own.

With time running out for Scot Gemmill’s side, Kieron Bowie blasted home from a tight angle to move Scotland into third place in Group B – three points behind Spain and Belgium.

Gemmill made three changes to the team that defeated Hungary on Friday evening, and he would have been frustrated as they made a sluggish start.

It was the visitors who created the first chance, Matthia Veselji working Cieran Slicker with an effort from the edge of the box.

That opportunity that seemed to spark some life into the Scots and a minute later, Josh Mulligan was denied by a good stop from the Malta keeper.

The Dundee midfielder went close again with a low effort in the 12th minute before Alex Lowry fired over the top.

A lapse in concentration almost led to Scotland falling behind in bizarre circumstances, as a poorly executed throw-in broke to Zammit and he almost caught out Slicker with an effort from 40 yards.

Just after the half-hour mark, Scotland were handed a golden chance to open the scoring after Matthew Ellul was adjudged to have fouled Matthew Anderson inside the box.

Lowry stepped up to take the resulting kick and coolly sent the keeper the wrong way to break the deadlock.

It seemed like it was only a matter of time before Gemmill’s youngsters extended their lead and Mulligan would pass up chances either side of half-time.

The hosts were stunned as the visitors levelled in the 52nd minute. After Veselji hit the deck under pressure from Anderson, the referee quickly pointed to the spot and Zammit made no mistake in slotting the ball home.

It could have been worse for Scotland a few minutes later as a wonderful effort from Nikolai Micallef fizzed past the Scotland goalkeeper before cannoning off the crossbar.

It took a goal-line clearance to deny Morrison restoring Scotland’s lead and Bowie then went close again as he turned Michael Mellon’s cross inches past a post.

With eight minutes remaining, Scotland finally got the goal their pressure merited. Mulligan did well to fizz the ball across the six-yard box and Bowie was on hand to net his third goal in two matches.

There was still time for one more chance for Malta, and the home crowd breathed a sigh of relief as Veselji hit the bar with a close-range header.

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