Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

England play out stalemate with Croatia in Rijeka

England play out stalemate with Croatia in Rijeka

Since finishing as runner-up at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Croatia has drawn Portugal 1-1 before being thrashed by Spain, 6-0, in its first Natoins League contest.

Southgate said: "The first half was pretty even but we had a very good chance from a corner, which we probably should have got on the end of".

There were no fans allowed to be in attendance at Croatia's 8,000 Stadion HNK Rijeka due to the World Cup finalists being hit with a UEFA charge back in 2015 when a swastika symbol was marked out the pitch before the Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy - as if it had been burnt into the surface. The most important thing for the team is we create chances, look unsafe, and I have faith the players who didn't score will score.

Southgate will be buoyed heading there by the fact that Croatia did not get as much joy in that department as they did in Moscow.

England coped well with the surroundings and had the better chances - Eric Dier and Harry Kane heading against the woodwork either side of the interval, and Marcus Rashford producing two bad misses with only Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic to beat. They had one from a cut-back.

Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal to end England's World Cup dream in Moscow, but without the Juventus striker, who has since retired from worldwide football, Croatia lacked a focal point up front.

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Kane headed a Henderson free kick against the bar before Manchester United forward Rashford served up a pair of astonishing misses in the space of two minutes.

A point apiece leaves Spain out in front at the top of Group A4 ahead of Monday's meeting with England in Seville, as they have six points from their first two matches. "We could easily hear the ones on the hill, they were the only ones here".

Kramaric had another shooting chance but again failed to make clean contact, Stones blocking, and with seconds running out Sancho's cross, after an excellent run down the right, just eluded his colleagues. On another day, we will.

The Borussia Dortmund youngster earned a shock call-up to Gareth Southgate's squad this month and came off the bench in the second half against Croatia to make his debut.

"With the young players we have coming through and their positions, having wingers would suit us as well". Both players' first thought seemed to pass backwards or sideways, leaving the creative burden on Ross Barkley exclusively.

"I briefly had some time with him when he was an under-15 in one of our camps, but I've also spent a lot of time talking to other youth coaches to get a good insight into his personality and how he is, just so we were able to help him settle as quickly as possible", he said.

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