Scotland Under-21s missed out on a third-place finish at the Toulon Tournament as they lost on penalties to Turkey following a 0-0 draw in Martigues yesterday. But it was a special day for 16-year-old Billy Gilmour as the Chelsea youngster wore the captain’s armband in the second half and was later presented with the “Revelation of the Tournament” award.
Scot Gemmill’s side squandered an opportunity to win the play-off in normal time, when Harvey St Clair’s second-half penalty was saved. The Scots went on to lose 5-3 in the shoot-out, with Oliver Burke the only player unable to convert.
Gilmour, who turns 17 tomorrow, confidently converted his spot-kick and earlier the former Rangers player had taken over the armband when he replaced starting skipper Greg Taylor in the second half.
Afterwards, Gilmour was recognised as the breakthrough player of the Toutnament, while his fellow midfielder, Celtic’s Michael Johnston, was named the third best player at the tournament.
“It wasn’t pre-planned to give Billy the armband,” said Gemmill of Gilmour’s surprise promotion during the Turkey match. “But it’s great for him and he’s had a really good tournament. We speak about players taking their opportunities when they come around. It’s hard to get them and it’s important they take them if they do – and he’s certainly done that.”
Scotland suffered semi-final defeat by rivals England for the second year in a row in this tournament but could not secure victory in the third-place play-off as they did in 2017.
A weather-enforced water break at the midway point was the most interesting thing to happen in a tight and uneventful first half.
The Scots were awarded a penalty just before the hour mark as St Clair danced into the box before being cynically tripped by Fatih Aksoy. St Clair dusted himself off to take the penalty himself but the Chelsea youngster’s low effort was pushed away by Altay Bayindir.
Neither side could create another decent opening in normal time, with the contest heading straight to penalties after the conclusion of the 80 minutes. Turkey scored all five of their kicks, with Burke’s saved effort proving decisive.
In the final, England Under-21s beat Mexico 2-1 to win the Toulon Tournament for the third year in a row. Roberto Alvarado had put the Mexicans ahead inside two minutes but Dael Fry bundled home an equaliser and Kieran Dowell’s neat finish before half-time completed the comeback victory.