Empty stands a sad sight for Croatia’s Dalic in England stalemate

14 October, 2018, 01:09 | Author: Dominic Spencer
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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.

"I don't think England are producing players that know how to control a game".

Southgate, wearing his customary waistcoat, monocle and gold pocket watch, told FourFourTwo that the lack of supporters roaring them on in Zagreb will be worth an extra player.

"We were a real threat", said the England boss.

He can look back on his night with pride in playing his part in a clean sheet and England's first point in this Nations League campaign. We recognise we have to keep progressing and advancing.

"The more important thing for me is we've created good chances against Croatia and the likes of Marcus, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling. they're the forwards we've got. I don't think my game has dipped".

Better chances would fall Rashford's way shortly before the hour mark, but he got his first-time shot all wrong when he only had Dominik Livakovic to beat in the Croatia goal, before being denied by the young keeper on his second cap when attempting to curl it out of reach.

"I was pleased the players did that and was particularly pleased with Ben Chilwell, who had a super debut: very composed defending against top quality players, good interceptions and use of the ball, getting forward well". "He scored twice for us last month and we love him to bits, so he'll take more of those chances than not".

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.

"I couldn't ask for more from the players".

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 threw on 18-year-old Jadon Sancho for his worldwide debut 12 minutes from time in search of a victor.

"When you walk out and the national anthem is on and you're singing it to no-one - hopefully it's something we don't have to experience too many times in our career".

"He's actually quite a quiet lad around the place but, he's very confident on the field and he showed that belief in his spell on Friday".

England, who also had a weak penalty shout rejected for Mateo Kovacic's clip on clubmate Ross Barkley, introduced Jadon Sancho for the final 12 minutes.



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