West Ham United scholar Harrison Ashby made his first start in a Scotland U19s shirt against Japan this morning.
The game was a repeat of Thursday’s fixture against the same opponents at Pinatar Football Arena in Murcia, Spain, in which Ashby came off the bench with 25 minutes remaining to make his U19s debut in a 1-1 draw.
Despite defender Ashby’s presence in the back line, Japan scored two early before a penalty from Rangers’ Dapo Medube halved the deficit before half-time.
Japan would take a two-goal lead again in the second half, before Medube again struck from twelve yards to spark an attempted fightback for Scotland, but it ultimately wasn’t enough for his side to claim a result.
#SCO19s FULL TIME | Scotland 2-3 Japan.— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) September 9, 2019
A Dapo Mebude double from the penalty spot isn't enough for Scotland, who narrowly lose out.
They will be back in action on home soil next month for our UEFA qualifying round. More info: https://t.co/otCfdHSlBG#YoungTeam pic.twitter.com/BZoD9RkWL7
17-year-old Ashby has been a regular fixture in Kevin Keen’s West Ham U18s side so far this season, impressing in three appearances in the Premier League South.
He was also named on the bench for the U23s’ trip to Old Trafford two weeks ago, but did not feature in the 2-2 draw with Manchester United U23s.
He will now hope to retain his place in Scotland U19’s coach Billy Stark’s thinking ahead of their three UEFA European Under-19 Championship Qualifying matches next month, which will all take place within six days in Greenock and Glasgow.
Elsewhere on Monday afternoon, West Ham defender Ajibola Alese, who played a full 90 minutes against Greece U19s on Thursday, was an unused substitute as England U19s lost 1-0 to Germany U19s in a friendly in Haiger.
Summer signing Gonçalo Cardoso, meanwhile, came off the bench for Portugal U20s a minute before half-time and helped marshal a compact second-half defence which was rewarded with a 1-0 win friendly away victory in Poland, the goal coming from Samuel Costa after 57 minutes.