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Scotland U17s 2 Bosnia U17s 0

MOST of the Tartan Army settle for walking 500 miles to see one of Scotland's goals.

In Robbie Lang's case, the mode of transport was air flight and the distance involved was more than 4000, as he faithfully traversed the Atlantic from Naples, Florida to watch his nephew Tom score his first goal for his country at Rugby Park last night.

The impressive 16-year-old Birmingham City centre-half's first-half header and a second-half penalty from Dundee striker Craig Wighton allowed Scotland to dream of booking onward travel to the European Under-17 Championship finals in Malta in May.

"I'm absolutely buzzing," said Lang, who qualifies for Scotland through his father Gavin, also in attendance last night. "It was my first goal for Scotland and I can't even explain the feeling. My dad and grandad are from Larkhall, and you could see from my celebration what playing for Scotland means to me. I put my heart on the line for Scotland."

Mark Wotte is not always everybody's cup of tea but the SFA performance director, deputising for Scott Booth after his departure to Stenhousemuir, will have the last laugh if he can take Scotland to a level they have not reached since the era of John Fleck and Paul Slane in 2008. They face Belgium next at Cappielow on Wednesday.

"I'm very pleased with their mature way of playing and managing the game," said Wotte. "Belgium's objective is always to participate at Euro finals so a draw might wake them up. I think we need at least six points to qualify. But this is a great start."

Watched by one his countryman in the form of AZ Alkmaar scout Artur Numan, the Dutchman named a variation of his cherished 4-3-3, with home favourite Greg Kiltie and Wighton the two with the most first-team experience. Both were very much to the fore in a progressive start from the young Scots. Wighton, another product of Ian Cathro's famed former coaching school in Dundee, so nearly impressed his watching club manager Paul Hartley with a strong run and right-foot drive from an angle which struck the inside of the post within minutes. Kiltie's trickery was also a feature, and it was his dead-eyed delivery from a dead ball which allowed Lang to head in.

Captain Jack Breslin, of Celtic, almost doubled Scotland's advantage but the second soon arrived from the penalty spot. Kiltie was too quick for Kemal Osmankovic, and Wighton swept the ball into the corner.

Contextual targeting label: 
Football

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