Scots grateful to saviour Alexander

Lithuania Under-21 0 Scotland Under-21 0

NEIL ALEXANDER came to the rescue of Scotland's Under-21 side in the Vingis Stadium, the talented Livingston goalkeeper making a series of superb saves. He had to ride his luck, however, with the Lithuanians twice striking the woodwork in a frenetic second half.

Scotland could have taken the lead as early as the first minute when Mark Burchill knocked the ball wide of the post after a fine cross from David Graham. Burchill continued to torment the opposition but his match came to a premature end after an accidental collision with team-mate Barry Elliot six minutes from the end saw him carried off.

"He has a slight concussion," Tommy Craig, the Scotland Under-21 manager, said. "He appears to be okay but we'll take him to a local hospital for X-rays as a precaution."

Burchill could have had a hat-trick in the first half, but headed straight into the Lithuanian goalkeeper's arms from close range in the 35th minute. Then, three minutes later, Burchill fired the ball over the bar after a knock-down from Graham had put him in the clear.

Lithuania had plenty of possession but their shooting was erratic, and Alexander's first real test of action came on the stroke of half-time. Arturas Fomenko headed into the box, but the Scotland No 1 was alive to the danger and took it off the head of Tadas Graziunas.

Alexander again had to look lively four minutes after the break when he parried a shot from Vidas Kauspadas, then recovered to pounce on the rebound as Fomenko raced in.

Scotland were beginning to wilt under the weight of attacks and Alexander could only watch helplessly in the 70th minute as a 25-yard shot from Tomas Danilevicius rattled his post. A shot by Burchill, blocked by the keeper, momentarily raised the siege, but Alexander was soon in action again.

Three minutes from time he pushed a shot from substitute Aivaras Laurisas around the post and then saw an effort from Fomenko come back off the bar. In injury-time Alexander made another great stop to defy Danilevicius as he raced clear from the centre circle.

After such a poor qualifying campaign last time round, Craig was encouraged by his side's start: "We deserved a point. I thought we were well disciplined and all the players put in a tremendous shift."

Lithuania Under-21: Leus, Joksas, Gleveckas, Zutautas, Dziaukstas, Gardzijauskas, Cikas, Kauspadas, Danilevicius, Fomenko, Graziunas.

Scotland Under-21: Alexander, McEwan, Buchan, McCluskey, Archibald, Brebner, Easton, Strachan, Burchill, Graham, Campbell.

Referee: G Buzas (Latvia).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?