Robby McCrorie’s Scotland career will hopefully be full of success, but he had to swallow a bitter pill on Friday night.

Scotland’s under-21 side had to beat Ukraine in order to keep alive hopes of qualification for Euro 2019. Lewis Morgan put the young Scots ahead before Oleksandr Zubkov netted either side of the break. Viktor Kovalenko sealed the win for the young Ukrainians before the death.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Scotland, but McCrorie has been the one to come under fire. A dreadful error saw him fail to deal with Zubkov’s 30-yard drive that put Ukraine ahead and gave them a platform to victory. There’s no hiding behind it at this level, it was a poor and costly mistake from the Gers youngster.

Robby McCrorie was vital in the win over the Netherlands last month (VI Images via Getty Images)

But he can also look back on his under-21 Euro 2019 campaign with extreme pride. That’s because McCrorie made a variety of top stops before the Ukraine match to make sure Scotland stayed in the competition.

Against the Netherlands last month, the Gers youngster was terrific, making several top stops. Even against Ukraine, McCrorie had to come up trumps on several occasions to keep the score down.

His manager, Scot Gemmill, has backed his young goalie after the error.

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“It’s the life of a goalie isn’t it? He’s handled it before and reacted in the right manner.

“You have to remember how important he has been for us. At Under-17s, 19s and 21s he’s made some big saves. Against France at the Toulon Tournament and Holland away in the last game he was good for us.

 

“There’s no doubt he will be able to handle it maturely.”

A key figure

McCrorie simply has to learn from the set-back. As a goalie, he’s made costly mistakes in the past, and will do so again. That’s simply the life of a goalkeeper as his international manager says.

But the Rangers youngster has matured hugely on the pitch since starting out. Having represented Scotland at all age levels along-side his brother Ross, McCrorie is developing nicely. Errors such as his one against Ukraine is all part of the process.

McCrorie now has to pick himself up from the Ukraine defeat (Sascha Steinbach/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Graeme Murty’s goalkeeper now must set his sights on continuing to develop at Auchenhowie. Chances in the first-team will remain limited for the foreseeable future, with Allan McGregor and Wes Foderingham going nowhere anytime soon.

McCrorie spent last season honing his craft at Berwick Rangers in a productive loan spell. Another one of those at a higher level than Scotland’s League Two would be ideal for McCrorie, who needs to impress more than most to get a chance in a position flooded with quality.

At 20-years of age, it’s important the youth star begins to experience first-team football in a more frequent basis. Playing 41 times for Berwick will have been great for his development, but more is required.

For now, McCrorie will have to pick himself up and move on from his Ukrainian gaff, just like all top goalkeepers do.

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