England finish World Cup prep with win over Costa Rica

England finish World Cup prep with win over Costa Rica

England finish World Cup prep with win over Costa Rica

Five minutes later he had underlined his brimming confidence levels with a howitzer of a shot that whistled past Keylor Navas and set England on their way to a 2-0 victory in their final friendly before departing for the World Cup in Russian Federation next week.

The match was the last for both teams before their World Cup openers, with England facing Tunisia on 18 June and Costa Rica meeting Serbia the day before.

Harry Kane , Raheem Sterling and Dele Ali are among 15 substitutes for England that include Tom Heaton, Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana, the three players on the standby list for Russian Federation.

19-year-old full-back Alexander-Arnold made 33 appearances for Liverpool this season including a starting berth in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last month. Whether meant as a thinly-veiled dig at Mourinho or not, it is clear Southgate is getting right what Mourinho seems to be getting wrong when it comes to the young protege's development.

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By then, though, he had already established that this was to be one of his demonstrations in audacity.

The Three Lions played a high-energy game and kept possession well, two things their opponents failed to do.

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

Jordan Henderson, captaining the side in Kane's absence, saw a powerful effort turned behind by Navas.

As a result of that, he said: "Playing in the World Cup would tick a box - but I've still got a few more boxes I want to tick". We've a decision to make for the first game, but we'll need people to come into matches to accelerate them, and sometimes to defend.

"He had a hard end to the season having to play on his own as a number nine at times". He's still filling out, he's still growing. "Today he had that exuberance and was teasing defenders".

The England global is an established player in the United first team, but the 20-year-old has not started as many matches as he would have liked under manager Jose Mourinho. "As a team, we are hugely supportive of what he's done". In the past, England players have maybe had the comfort of knowing what the next squad is going to be before it's announced but I'd like there to be more uncertainty.

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 progress to the knock-out stages in Russian Federation, there are likely to be occasions when Southgate is tempted to play both players in the same team, but with Tunisia expected to adopt a defensive approach as they begin their World Cup campaign, it is likely to be either Henderson or Dier alongside Dele Alli in nine days' time.

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