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

Luka Modric

Luka Modric

However, in Friday's 0-0 draw against Croatia, the side who beat them on penalties to reach the World Cup final just three months before, Southgate fielded a conventional back four.

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.

In front of the empty stands, Marcus Rashford missed two glorious chances to exact England a small measure of revenge for missing out on the World Cup final to Croatia 93 days ago in Moscow.

"It feels like a game we should have won", Southgate said after England secured the first point of their Nations League campaign. Also Ross Barkley, who had a good impact on the game as well.

"We were able to get more pressure higher up the pitch, we were able to get tighter to their midfielder". We dictated the flow for a long period and the second-half performance was excellent, pushing right to the end.

A small band of England supporters perched on a hill overlooking the deserted 8,000 capacity stadium in Rijeka tried to offer their encouragement.

"Knowing they're all sequestered in terrible pubs over a thousand miles away, unable to call any of us a w***er to our faces, is an unbelievable feeling".

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England have played out a 0-0 draw with Croatia at the Stadion HNK Rijeka to pick up their first UEFA Nations League point.

"We need to stop talking about Mario Mandzukic", added Dalic.

Croatia came to life as the 20-minute mark approached, Domagoj Vida and Ante Rebic combining to win a corner that was played short and gave Ivan Perisic a chance to fire in a shot that was blocked.

Dalic complained after a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Spain that his side were still tired from their summer exertions and they faded again as England took control at the start of the second period.

"What we found in the two matches with Spain and Switzerland in the first half was out of possession we were having to cover too much ground, and both teams pinned our five back with three and we were getting outnumbered in midfield and further forward as well".

England's Jadon Sancho, Borussia Dortmund's exciting 18-year old winger, produced a darting run late on after coming off the bench to replace Raheem Sterling and make his worldwide debut before the match fizzled out in the final few minutes.

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