England play out stalemate with Croatia in Rijeka

John Stones and Gareth Southgate on the pitch

Both players have suffered minor injuries and will therefore not be risked at the empty Stadion HNK Rijeka on Friday, meaning they've each been withdrawn and gone back to their respective clubs to receive further treatment. Good teams, whatever the circumstances or the atmosphere or the pitch, find a way of playing.

At press time, Southgate appeared deeply troubled by the news that the England Supporters' Band had set up outside the stadium and were preparing to play the Theme From Dambusters on repeat for the duration of the game. There was no let up in their work ethic throughout the game.

As revealed by Sportsmail, Southgate played with a four-man defence in Rijeka having utilised a back-five for over 12 months.

'The three at the back, the 3-5-2, allowed some players to bed into global football. We were braver and more decisive.

'Now the players are more established and look comfortable.

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Better chances would fall Rashford's way shortly before the hour mark, but he got his first-time shot all wrong when he only had Dominik Livakovic to beat in the Croatia goal, before being denied by the young keeper on his second cap when attempting to curl it out of reach.

Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers Zlatko Dalic or Gareth Southgate? The most important thing for the team is we create chances, look risky, and the players who didn't score tonight will score'.

Croatia should have opened the scoring 37 minutes in through the first half's only real opportunity, only for Andrej Kramaric to hit the ball into the ground when picked out by Perisic's left-sided cross, allowing Jordan Pickford to make the save.

"The game was hard as we expected", head coach Dalic said.

Kane said: 'It was a unusual one, we're not using to playing with no fans, it's hard without the atmosphere'.

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