Michael Johnston knows he’ll look back on his wonder-goal against England with real pride.

Just not yet.

The Celtic winger’s incredible individual goal earned Scotland’s Under-21s a well-deserved 1-0 half-time lead against the Auld Enemy in the Toulon tournament semi-final, only for Scot Gemmill’s side to finish on the end of a 3-1 defeat.

Scotland v England

Afterwards, Johnston said: “It was a decent goal but, first and foremost, I’m really just gutted about the result.

“When the dust settles I’m sure I’ll look back and think ‘that was a good goal’ but at the moment the loss is foremost in my mind.

“We have to be encouraged by what we’ve done this year.
“At this stage a year ago we didn’t manage to lay a glove on England but it was a different story this time, night and day.

“We gave them much more of a game so there are positives to take away from this.”

Michael Johnston
Scot Gemmill echoed those words and, while he bemoaned some second-half slackness, he was proud of the efforts of his players.

He added: “The players know the second half wasn't good enough. The first half was, but the second wasn't. It's as simple as that.

"Young players can be inconsistent at this level because they are still learning to play, especially against a very good side like England. You have to credit England for their reaction after the break.

"But for us, we didn't do enough. We knew we would have to contain them for the whole game.

"We were excellent in the first half. It's very difficult to do that and I felt we were very, very close to executing our game-plan. It is fine margins and when you play against a very top team you get punished.

"We had several chances in the first half and played so well but were only 1-0 up. In the second half, we have to accept we came up short. To concede three goals in the second half is extremely disappointing.

"Last year we came up very short. This year there is a lot to be positive about because of the first-half performance.

"We really pushed England. There's a lot to be proud about.

"To top a group featuring France and teams from Africa and Asia, it's a fantastic achievement to top the group and it's not over yet because we will be going all out to beat Turkey."

Fraser Hornby

Scotland Squad

Ross Doohan (Celtic)

Robby McCrorie (Rangers)

Daniel Harvie (Aberdeen)

Jason Kerr (St Johnstone)

Chris Hamilton (Heart of Midlothian)

Ryan Porteous (Hibernian)

Anthony Ralston (Celtic)

Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock)

Iain Wilson (Kilmarnock)

Liam Burt (Rangers)

Allan Campbell (Motherwell)

Billy Gilmour (Chelsea)

Fraser Hornby (Everton)

Glenn Middleton (Rangers)

Harvey St Clair (Chelsea)

Elliot Watt (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Oliver Burke (West Bromwich Albion)

Michael Johnston (Celtic)

Craig Wighton (Dundee)

Scott Wright (Aberdeen)


Scotland 1, Togo 1, Stade de Lattre, Aubagne

Scotland 1, France 0, Stade D’Honneur, Salon

Scotland 2, South Korea 1, Stade Parsemain, Fos-Sur-Mer

Scotland 1, England 3, Stade de Lattre, Aubagne