Scotland U21 3 - 1 N Ireland U21: How the young Scots fared

Player-by-player ratings for our young prospects after their come-from-behind victory over Northern Ireland at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.

Goalscorers Jason Cummings (left) and Oliver McBurnie. Picture: SNS

GK - Jack Hamilton - 3

His early howler allowed the visitors to take a 1-0 lead. While there was no doubt he was put off by the run of Mikhail Kennedy, it was a straight-forward cross going right into his arms until he took an ill-advised step to the right. Unfortunately, he never got a shot at redemption as Northern Ireland barely attacked for the rest of the game.

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DR - Donald Love - 4

The Manchester United defender was wasteful in possession, particularly in the first half where he struggled to link with Sam Nicholson. Defensively he was fine but rarely tested.

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CB - John Souttar - 7

Was a little slack in possession in the opening exchanges but improved going forward. He and his centre back partner looked a little unsure of themselves in the early going but got stronger and stronger as the game went on.

CB - Jordan McGhee - 6

As above, though looked awkward dealing with the ball over the top in the first half. Surprisingly, as all three play together at club level, there seemed a lack of communication between the centre backs and goalkeeper. This improved as the game went on and they looked impenetrable in the closing exchanges. Then again, the opposition never put up much of a fight.

LB - Stephen Kingsley - 8

Got forward to great effect and caused Northern Ireland problems with his distribution. Swung in a great first half cross for Jason Cummings to head wide, before playing through a lovely clipped ball for Gauld to run on to shortly after half-time. He eventually got the assist he deserved when Cummings tapped home his cross following a battling run down the left.

CM - Ryan Gauld - 8

Looks right at home in the deep-lying playmaker role - a position club side Sporting CP insist will be his future. Dictated possession and always looked to get forward in support. On another day he’d have bagged himself a goal with a number of efforts that went close.

CM - Craig Storie - 6

The Aberdeen centre midfielder battled well in the centre and was often there to harry and break up play. In possession he wasn’t quite as sharp as his centre midfield partner, but should feel pleased with his efforts overall.

MR - Sam Nicholson - 5

Buzzed around in the final third but nothing of note came off for him. He did well to knock the opposing defender off the ball after being played through by Cummings in the first half, but perhaps should have looked to shoot for goal instead of laying it back to his team-mate on the edge of the area.

AM - Ryan Christie - 8

Little quiet in the first half, though he did play a major role in the move that led to Cummings winning the penalty. After the break he was fantastic. His diagonal ball for Oliver McBurnie was inch perfect and enabled Scotland to equalise. From that point there was only going to be one winner, with Christie doubling his assist tally to tee up Cummings for the second. Deservedly named man of the match.

ML - Barrie McKay - 7

Intelligent performance from the Rangers winger. He recognised when to attack and when to keep possession ticking over. Unlucky not to get an assist on several occasions, especially when his free-kick found Storie at the back post but Conor Brennan pulled off a miraculous save.

FC - Jason Cummings - 8

You can’t argue with two goals. The striker never lets his head drop, and despite missing a first half penalty amid some poor recent form, he kept getting himself into great areas and was rewarded with two second half goals in what was a lively performance overall.


Oliver McBurnie - 7

Got a fortunate break of the ball to score the equaliser, but made a great initial run and was rewarded for his endeavour. His introduction, and the subsequent tactical change it brought about, swung the game in Scotland’s favour.

Liam Henderson - n/a

Should perhaps have done better when presented with a late chance, opting to try and square for Liam Polworth instead of shooting himself.