England finish World Cup prep with win over Costa Rica

Aubrey Yates
June 10, 2018

Rashford now wants England to head to Russian Federation with the belief that they can spring a surprise during the World Cup .

Southgate made changes after the interval, introducing Danny Welbeck, Jesse Lingard, Nick Pope, Dele Alli and Gary Cahill.

"Most pleasing was to make 10 changes and still maintain the fluidity and fluency of the game".

"Of course he has given Gareth Southgate something to think about, but if he plays Rashford as an attacking player does that mean Raheem doesn't play?"

"That competition for places is always there and you always want to perform to the best of your ability regardless of what game is coming up next", he added.

His effervescent display was all the more remarkable considering his recent adversity at club level - he scored just four goals after the turn of the year - and the withering criticism from United manager Jose Mourinho.

"He had a hard end to the season having to play on his own as a number nine at times. He is still filling out - we sometimes forget how old he is", Southgate said.

"You can see that a lot of the lads are confident".

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"They (the team) are going to make errors but, by taking risks, they show the glimpses of quality like Marcus' opening goal. The goal was world-class".

Even when he was handed a start against Chelsea in the FA Cup final he failed to impress, as Martin Keown highlighted following England's 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Thursday.

However, it was another youngster in Rashford, 20, who caught the eye from the off.

Shooting from distance, Real Madrid's Keylor Navas was powerless to prevent the dipping effort from finding the back of his net (not that Lee Dixon agreed).

And given England's World Cup routes, whether winning or coming second in group G sees them likely to face either Brazil or Germany in the quarter-finals (should they get that far and both teams win their groups as expected) this will be something Southgate needs to work on in the final days before they travel to Russian Federation.

Navas kept his side in the game by denying Jamie Vardy from point-blank range as he latched onto Leicester team-mate Harry Maguire's knockdown. If England qualify they will face either Poland, Senegal, Colombia or Japan from Group H. If they get through that tie then the chances are they will face one of the tournament's favourites - either Brazil or the holders, Germany - in the last eight. A brace from Paris Saint-Germain forward Goncalo Guedes, who spent last season on loan at Valencia, and another strike from Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes secured a comfortable success.

South Korea was held to an unimpressive 0-0 draw against Bolivia while Iceland, the surprise packages of Euro 2016 who are looking to pull off more upsets in Russian Federation, drew 2-2 at home to Ghana after leading 2-0.

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