International Friendly Report: England v Costa Rica 07 June 2018

International Friendly Report: England v Costa Rica 07 June 2018

International Friendly Report: England v Costa Rica 07 June 2018

Playing with a freedom all too uncommon at Manchester United this term, the 20-year-old scored an outstanding opener in a man-of-the-match display against Costa Rica.

Southgate's youthful 23-man squad may only have 11 World Cup appearances between them heading to Russian Federation but the manager is keen for the players to show their vast array of talents, and not worry about making mistakes.

"I'm going to get my hair cut for a start", Southgate said with a smile.

"What pleased me most is that Marcus Rashford enjoyed his football tonight".

The Rashford we saw for England on Thursday nearly looked like a completely different player to the unconfident, stressed Rashford we saw in Man United's FA Cup Final defeat to Chelsea.

"Defensive side of the game (was) good, a couple of lapses of concentration". I think the general patterns and defensive side of the game was good, movement of the ball was good, we looked a threat. We had energy, pressed really well. We had energy, the first goal was a wonderful, wonderful strike.

"I'm happy with the game and the result".

Southgate pinpointed the scrutiny and criticism of Raheem Sterling's gun tattoo, as well as the openness in which Danny Rose spoke about his fight with depression.

"Ruben we know is a super talent and it's still early for him", Southgate said.

Chief executive Martin Glenn said that a last-eight place would represent "a real sign of progress" after failing to get out of the group four years ago in Brazil.

The link-up play between Loftus-Cheek and Rashford on England's right-hand side, causing problems for Costa Rica's defence with the pair constantly fouled as they formed most of the attack - Loftus-Cheek was fouled more than any other player (five) and also completed 100% of his 34 passes.

Speaking after the match, Southgate told 5Live Rashford was "desperate to do well". "Then it is up to the manager to decide who is in the best XI for the first game and then for the games after that". "We've discussed the possible situation over racism, which was certainly an important connection between the team".

Yet in keeping with his career so far, there was still a feeling that more is to come if his finishing can match the quality of his skill and movement.

Forward Goncalo Guedes staked his claim for a place in Portugal's starting line-up with two goals in the win over Algeria, which missed out on Russian Federation, at a soggy Stadium of Light in Lisbon.

Rashford's eighth-minute dribble past Waston was a thing of wonder; its true majesty only revealed by replays.

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