ALISTAIR JOHNSTON came under fire after Canada were routed 4-1 by Japan in an international friendly in Tokyo.
His Celtic team-mates Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi were involved as the hosts coasted to victory after leading 3-0 at the interval.
Hoops fans’ favourite Johnston was in the wars as he was robbed of the ball by Keito Nakamura who raced clear to thump in No.3, but it was later that the right-back provoked an angry reaction from the home fans after a wayward challenge on the same opponent.
The 25-year-old defender was booked for his part in the 60th-minute incident and was removed from the action with 10 minutes remaining.
BOOKED…Alistair Johnston challenges Japan’s Keito Nakamura to earn a yellow card in Canada’s 4-1 loss.
Nakamara was carried off in a stretcher and, ironically, replaced by Johnston’s club colleague Hatate.
Japanese head coach Hajiyme Moriyasu also introduced Kyogo to proceedings in the second-half as the home nation turned the screw.
Johnston and Co never recovered from going behind in only two minutes from a deflected long-range effort and blew the opportunity of levelling shortly afterwards when Jonathan David had a penalty saved by keeper Keisuke Osako.
An Alphonso Davies own goal and a Nakamura’s strike gave the hosts a convincing interval advantage and Ao Tanaka netted No.4 before the Canadians claimed a consolation through Junior Hoilett.
Speaking of the qualities of Hatate and Kyogo before the game, Johnston, in a report in the Scottish Sun, said: “We are usually team-mates, but I want to be wary of them so that we never let them to score a goal.
“Also, both of them are in very good condition now, so I recognise that the match is very tough for us to stop them.”
Johnston is now heading home as the champions prepare for the Premiership encounter against Hearts at Tynecastle a week tomorrow while Japan face Tunisia on Tuesday.