Chalobah unused substitute as Sancho makes England debut in Croatia draw

Florence Fletcher
October 13, 2018

The Nations League match had to be played behind closed doors, however, it proved to be a rather boring affair as both sides earned a point from the game.

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 global football, Croatia lacked a focal point up front.

The Three Lions were outclassed by Croatia in the semi-final, in large past thanks to the play of midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

England wasted several gilt-edged chances as they were held to a 0-0 draw away to World Cup runners-up Croatia in a Nations League top-tier Group 4 clash behind closed doors on Friday (Oct 12).

Eric Dier and Harry Kane also hit the woodwork for the visitors, who enjoyed the better of a subdued game befitting of the weird atmosphere.

There was also a glimpse of the future as 18-year-old substitute Sancho became the first player born this millennium to play for the senior side, while 21-year-old Ben Chilwell impressed.

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And the 2018 FIFA World Cup finalists appeared to miss the backing of their home fans as they struggled to make their mark on the match, with England dominating after a poor first half from both sides.

Southgate will be buoyed heading there by the fact that Croatia did not get as much joy in that department as they did in Moscow.

The only chance in the first half fell to Dier, who glanced his header against the far post after a Jordan Henderson corner.

England started to dominate play and Rashford should have put the visitors ahead after 55 minutes, but the flimsy finish with which he greeted an inviting Kyle Walker ball into the box left Dominik Livakovic with a comfortable save.

England still have three other goalkeepers to choose from but Rose's exit, which came after Luke Shaw was forced to leave, means that Leicester's Ben Chilwell is now the only left-back in the squad.

History boy Sancho showed flashes of excitement after his 78th-minute introduction, with his threatening late cross causing problems in a match that ended goalless.

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