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Croatia hold wasteful England in empty stadium

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Adrian Cunningham | 13 October, 2018, 12:38

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".

Just 93 days after the Three Lions lost to Zlatko Dalic's men in the World Cup semi-finals, the countries met in surroundings that could scarcely have been more different to July's huge encounter at the packed Luzhniki. We were a real threat. "Harry will get us goals".

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

The Nations League match had to be played behind closed doors, however, it proved to be a rather tiresome affair as both sides earned a point from the game. "We could easily hear the ones on the hill, they were the only ones here". "They were the only ones here".

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

Gareth Southgate believes England reinforced their position as an emerging global force in last night's goalless draw in Croatia.

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"He made his decision and we have to respect that and look for other solutions".

The game's first shot on target did not arrive until the 37th minute, when Andrej Kramaric failed to truly test Jordan Pickford from the centre of the box.

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.

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

And six minutes after the break Kane rose highest to a Henderson free-kick only to see his looping header come back off the crossbar. "We should have been more ruthless".

The Borussia Dortmund wonder kid showed some impressive touches but couldn't provide a final spark as England had to settle for a point.