Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Croatia hold wasteful England in empty stadium

Croatia hold wasteful England in empty stadium

Kane had a header crash off a crossbar, and a goal disallowed, as England enjoyed the better of the Nations League clash with the team that ended their World Cup dreams in a Moscow semi-final three months ago.

And Neville believes England are lacking a similar player.

As for what happened on the pitch, Gareth Southgate's side hit the woodwork twice, while Marcus Rashford failed to score from two one-on-one situations, and the game petered out to a goalless draw.

Kane saw an effort ruled out for offside and seemingly broke the net in the process, leading to a pause in play that saw England fans get a wave from Pickford.

"We were a real threat", said the England boss. We've got great pace in the team, great one-against-one ability, and that's what we've got to try to exploit when we play them.

As a one-off 90-minute experience it was fascinating as the sparse gallery listened to the constant cajoling of Pickford, heard Jordan Henderson ask Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic was he the referee in less than complimentary terms, and discover Southgate's squad have a distinctly unimaginative line in nicknames.

Their absence robbed this occasion of its heart and soul, and England will be glad to be back playing in front of supporters again when they face Spain.

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Chilwell was sharp in challenges, sound with his distribution and produced a high quality first-half cross that nearly brought a goal for Raheem Sterling.

Jordan Henderson will miss England's UEFA Nations League encounter with Spain on Monday.

The pair used to start together for England as the Three Lions fought for qualification to the World Cup but many fans often slated the option, with some feeling it is far too negative a pairing.

Kramaric sliced wide before Croatia made the night's first change, Perisic making way for Marko Pjaca and the substitute nearly making an instant impact with an effort that curled wide.

"We're not quite there yet in that aspect, in the way they keep the ball".

Penalty claims were rejected as Ross Barkley, making his first England appearance in 868 days, went down in the box - and Stones' frustration at that decision resulted in a foul that brought a booking and suspension. We know he can have an impact on the game, and he did that when we eventually got the ball to him.

After 77 minutes, Jadon Sancho made his England debut, coming on for Sterling, and another change followed as Marko Livaja replaced Rebic for the home side.

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