Italy stay top despite draw

Scotland 2-2 Italy Three players were sent off as Claudio Gentile's Group 5 leaders were held in Motherwell.

Group 5 leaders Italy were held to a 2-2 draw by Scotland at the Fir Park home of Motherwell FC in a game which saw three players dismissed.

Cautious Italy
Rainer Bonhof's team had not won a competitive match at this level for almost two years, but they started well against a cautious Italian side and took the lead right on half-time when Aberdeen FC defender Alexander Diamond headed home. Claudio Gentile's side were more adventurous after the break, however, and Andrea Lazzari equalised on 53 minutes.

Late drama
Scotland responded with a second goal from Blackburn Rovers FC striker Paul Gallagher on 74 minutes, only for Simone Pepe to level again for the Azzurrini two minutes later. The game ended in controversy with three players being ordered off. Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall and Marco Motta of Italy were red-carded for violent conduct after the pair clashed in the penalty area, and Pepe was then shown a second yellow a minute from time.

Play-offs beckon
The result still leaves Italy in a strong position at the top of the section and they travel to Belarus on Tuesday knowing that another three points will clinch qualification to the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs.