Croatia hold wasteful England in empty stadium

Modric tips Tottenham star Kane to get even better

This was as far away from a World Cup semi-final in Moscow as it was possible to get - a packed, vast bowl of a stadium replaced by a barely populated arena with the peace only disturbed by the shouts of players and occasional polite applause.

Ross Barkley had strong claims for a penalty waived away on his first global appearance for two-and-a-half years before Rashford was twice presented with golden chances to score for the third straight game for his country.

"He is the type of player we want to build the future around".

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. 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.

Croatia, winners when these countries last met, threatened only occasionally and Southgate will feel a tinge of regret his side are not moving on to Monday's meeting with Spain in Sevilla on the back of a victory.

At the beginning, with the likes of Maguire, when they hadn't played as much global football, to play with the five was helpful to help them bed in. "I don't think my game has dipped".

"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".

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. And tonight we played well".

"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 should be really pleased". The first half was even.

"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. We appreciate the support even when no fans are allowed in the stadium. Two minutes after failing to greet a fine Kyle Walker cross with the finish it deserved from close range, he was put through by Sterling but somehow failed to beat Livakovic.



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