Scotland Under-21s suffered an early blow in their quest to qualify for the 2023 European Championships as Denmark edged a close contest at Tynecastle.
The visitors took the lead after 13 minutes, when Gustav Isaksen’s curling shot deceived goalkeeper Cieran Slicker and crept into the bottom corner.
Scotland struggled to carve clear openings, with Scott Banks’ swerving shot as close as they came.
Scot Gemmill’s side are third in Group I with one point from two games.
They were looking to build on a promising opening draw in Turkey last month as they bid to reach the Euros in Georgia and Romania, but their struggle for goals again cost them.
Isaksen’s opener put them on the back foot, with the Midtjylland forward allowed too much room to come inside on his left foot before finding the bottom corner as Slicker misjudged the bounce of the ball.
The Manchester City goalkeeper did deny the impressive Isaksen’s second attempt as the visitors started strongly.
Scotland, the fourth seeds in the group ,had plenty of possession, especially in the second half, and worked the ball into good positions out wide.
However, too often there was nobody to get on the end of crosses put in by Adam Montgomery, Josh Doig and Jack Burroughs.
Glenn Middleton has so often been the source of goals for Scotland and his shot from the edge of the box forced Danish goalkeeper Mads Hermansen into a rare save, while the St Johnstone winger also fired a free-kick just past the post.
Hermansen also had to spring to his right to push substitute Banks’ dipping shot from the right clear in the final minute of normal time.
However, overall, Denmark – who are the top seeds and also went close twice through Eintracht Frankfurt’s Jesper Lindstrom – were able to see out the match with relative comfort to draw level with Belgium at the top of the group with two wins apiece.
Excluding matches against San Marino, Scotland have now found the net just seven times in their last eight competitive outings.
They face Kazakhstan and Belgium in a double header next month as they chase a first victory in the group.
- 3DoigSubstituted forBanksat 72′minutes
- 8FioriniBooked at 59mins
- 14KellySubstituted forHighat 76′minutes
- 19WilliamsonSubstituted forLeonardat 72′minutes
- 17MontgomerySubstituted forMebudeat 56′minutesBooked at 79mins
- 3CarstensenBooked at 72mins
- 5HausnerBooked at 20mins
- 18KjærgaardSubstituted forTengstedtat 85′minutes
- 6NarteyBooked at 10mins
- 8IsaksenSubstituted forBidstrupat 85′minutes
- 7JensenSubstituted forFrendrupat 75′minutes
- 12Bøving VickSubstituted forWarmingat 64′minutes
Match ends, Scotland U21 0, Denmark U21 1.
Second Half ends, Scotland U21 0, Denmark U21 1.
Substitution, Denmark U21. Casper Tengstedt replaces Maurits Kjærgaard.
Substitution, Denmark U21. Mads Bidstrup replaces Gustav Isaksen.
Dapo Mebude (Scotland U21) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, Scotland U21. Scott High replaces Stephen Kelly.
Substitution, Denmark U21. Morten Frendrup replaces Victor Jensen.
Substitution, Scotland U21. Scott Banks replaces Josh Doig.
Substitution, Scotland U21. Marc Leonard replaces Ben Williamson.
Rasmus Carstensen (Denmark U21) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, Denmark U21. Magnus Warming replaces William Bøving Vick.
Lewis Fiorini (Scotland U21) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, Scotland U21. Dapo Mebude replaces Adam Montgomery.
Second Half begins Scotland U21 0, Denmark U21 1.
First Half ends, Scotland U21 0, Denmark U21 1.
Sebastian Hausner (Denmark U21) is shown the yellow card.
Goal! Scotland U21 0, Denmark U21 1. Gustav Isaksen (Denmark U21) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Maurits Kjærgaard.
Nikolas Nartey (Denmark U21) is shown the yellow card.
Lineups are announced and players are warming up.