Greg Taylor the history boy as young Scots down Brazil
Scot Gemmill’s youngsters gave the nation a huge lift ahead of next week’s Auld Enemy World Cup showdown by becoming the first Scotland side at any level to taste victory against Brazil.
And his goal in the Toulon Tournament was a brilliant effort into the roof of the net after an assist from Oliver Burke, who terrorised the Brazilians all day with his pace and power and must surely be in with a chance of a recall from Gordon Strachan this week. It was a dream come true for the 19-year-old, who will be able to add an impressive piece of Scottish football history to his CV for the rest of his career.
Taylor said: “It was a great feeling to score the winning goal against Brazil and we could have actually scored more. Malky Mackay read out a list of the 100 best players who have played in the Toulon Tournament and said we can add our names to the list. We were well aware of the qualities of the Brazil team because Scot, Peter Grant and Malky went over them so we knew what we were facing and just had to be organised. I admire so many Brazilian full-backs. I watched the Champions League final on Saturday after our game and Marcelo and Dani Alves are probably two of the best ever.
“They played for Brazil and for us to beat a nation like that was a great achievement. We watched the final as a group in the hotel. I study the best full-backs in the world because it can only improve me.
“I switched my phone on when I got out the dressing room and it blew up. Lee McCulloch and a few others had sent messages. A few of my pals tried to stream it, but couldn’t get it. But they will be sick of me talking about it.
“I watched it back after the game and it wasn’t a bad goal. You could see Brazil’s quality. They had some great individual quality and close dribbling even on a sticky pitch.
“But they struggled as a unit to break us down. And we had big Ollie up front so we were always a threat with his pace. Scot said in his team talk, ‘It’s Brazil, what else do I need to say?’ It’s the famous yellow top so if we can’t get up for that game then what game can we get up for?”
Scotland now face Indonesia in their last Group C game tomorrow and a win could see them into the semi-finals, depending on other results, after the Scots lost 3-2 to Czech Republic in their opening game.
Scotland could and should have won by more with Burke, Dundee’s Craig Wighton and Rangers’ Ryan Hardie all missing one-on-ones with the overworked Brazil keeper.
And Taylor, who admits he isn’t exactly a free-scoring full-back, would love to see Scotland go further in the Provence event.
He added: “It’s important to realise our aim when we came was to progress and we need to focus on the Indonesia game to try and qualify. It’s great but we need to move on.
“It was bit surreal to score because I don’t get many. The last time I scored was about a year and a half ago for Kilmarnock Under 20s – never mind the first team – so to get one for my country was amazing. I scored against Hibs for the Under-20s. The old manager had just come in so I had to try and impress and that was my only goal.
“That game was just at Rugby Park on a Tuesday night in front of 15 people. But I had the striker’s instinct against Brazil when the ball came to me.
“I took a touch and went for that top corner. I was just hoping to hit the target but I was happy to see it go in.
“I’ve been told to attack more and I’ve had a few assists in the Premiership and I need to add some goals.”