Tom McIntyre helps Scotland U19s progress to Elite round of Euro qualifying...Reading defender and Scotland U19 international Tom McIntyre has been away with his country over the past week helping the Tartan Army progress in qualification for this summer’s European Championships in Georgia.
17-year-old McIntyre is a second year Academy scholar with the Royals and has performed with distinction in the back line for our U23s so far this season in Premier League 2. The defender spent a long spell on the sidelines last campaign with a back injury, but after an impressive pre-season has fitted straight in to U23 football and has become a key member of Martin Kuhl’s squad this season.
The centre-back was called up for Scotland duty for their trio of U19 European Championship qualification fixtures in Andorra as they looked to progress from Group 3 to the Elite round of qualification.
Scotland’s opening tie of the group, a clash with Liechtenstein on the 25th of October, gave the Scots a good opportunity to put three points on the board in the group. McIntyre came off the bench in the final six minutes, with Oliver Shaw’s goal ten minutes in enough to earn all three points for the Scots.
The second game in the group phase was a meeting with hosts of Group 6, Andorra. McIntyre was handed a starting place for his country as they looked to put one foot into the next round with a win.
Scotland kept a tight defensive line and took a deserved lead on the 40th minute when Everton’s Fraser Hornby scored to put them 1-0 up. McIntyre helped see out a goalless second half, with Scotland keeping two clean sheets in as many games to all but qualify for the next round.
Unlucky to loose 1-0 to Israel in our last game after a good performance but buzzing to have qualified for the next round ⚽️— tom mcintyre (@Tom5Mc) October 30, 2016
The final match on Sunday the 30th of October saw Israel and Scotland go head to head competing for a place at the top of the group and a chance to be top seeds in the next round of qualifying. Israel, who had followed up a 3-2 win over Andorra in their opening game with a 5-0 thumping of Lichtenstein, headed into the game full of confidence.
McIntyre kept his place in the Scotland starting XI and in a tight contest, one goal was enough to settle the outcome. Unfortunately for the Tartan Army it was Israel who found the breakthrough on the 14th minute, when Maccabi Haifa’s Mohammad Abu Fani fired home the decisive strike to send his nation through as group winners. Despite pushing for an equaliser in the second half the Scots were unable to level the scores, having to settle for second place in Group 6.
Scotland will be in Pot C in the Elite Round draw which will take place on the 13th of December with the next and final round of qualification fixtures taking place towards the end of March 2017.