Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

England rue Rashford misses in Croatia stalemate

England rue Rashford misses in Croatia stalemate

The Three Lions lacked any sort of creative ideas from open play, though, and their opponents - coming into this match on the back of a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Spain - did not fare much better.

Football supporters are a determined bunch and, if they want to see a game involving their team, it is often a case of "where there is a will, there is a way".

And former England worldwide Pearce believes Henderson proved himself the better of the two after the World Cup.

Uefa forced the match to be played behind closed doors as part of a punishment handed down to Croatia after a swastika was marked onto the pitch before a match against Italy in 2015.

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Rashford was one of few England players to emerge with credit in the last worldwide break as he scored against Spain and a friendly win over Switzerland.

England captain Harry Kane dismissed suggestions he needs a rest, saying he does not think his "game has dipped".

As weird and boring as last night's behind-closed-doors UEFA Nations League game with Croatia was, at least we got to hear England players shouting throughout - which isn't something you can always say.

England manager Gareth Southgate was disappointed with the outcome, saying: "Second half we were by far the better team and if we had taken our chances we would have won the game". "In the Premier League I'm second top goalscorer". Also Ross Barkley, who had a good impact on the game as well.

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"But as a striker you go through spells where maybe it goes off the bar and other times it comes off your heel and goes in the back of the net like in the World Cup against Panama". Sometimes you fall below it for one reason or another.

England's Jordan Pickford came to the edge of his box to deal with a long Perisic pass that threatened to set Rebic free, before Luka Modric failed to muster a threat from a free kick given away by Chilwell.

Southgate said: 'He buried that chance but was just offside, but Harry will get us goals. "We have to keep getting in those situations". It's important for us to win, especially against big nations like Croatia and Spain. It meant we were able to get tighter to their midfield and we were able to get higher up the pitch. We will change a few players for the upcoming friendly against Jordan.

The game featured strong challenges, near misses and two good teams playing at an impressive pace, but it was nonetheless flat and sterile to watch because there was no noise, colour or passion from the stands, just banks of empty seats.

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With no fervent crowd to contend against, England did not have to endure the hostility that can unnerve even the most experienced of performers.

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