Chalobah unused substitute as Sancho makes England debut in Croatia draw

Saul Niguez

Chalobah unused substitute as Sancho makes England debut in Croatia draw

"We were compact and aggressive, better than in last match", said Dalic.

Southgate introduced debutant Jadon Sancho for the final 15 minutes, but the Borussia Dortmund attacker - England's second-youngest debutant in a competitive game after Duncan Edwards - was unable to make a match-winning impact.

Eric Dier and Harry Kane also hit the woodwork for the visitors, who enjoyed the better of a subdued game befitting of the weird atmosphere.

"We lose John and Jordan so there will be opportunities for others as well", said England manager Gareth Southgate.

"We dictated the flow of the game for a long period".

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 0-0 draw in an empty Stadion HNK Rijeka handed England their first point of their Uefa Nations League campaign.

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"We'd also had some problems building up against the pressure, so tonight I was really pleased that we did both things very well".

Croatia rode their luck at times in a match that was played behind closed doors as punishment for a swastika that was marked on the pitch ahead of a Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy. "But we have to forget Mandzukic, it is over, he is not with us anymore".

Croatia's Ivan Perisic forced a good save from Jordan Pickford with a stinging low shot and Ante Rebic, playing in an unfamiliar lone striker role, fired inches wide with a long-range effort for the revamped home side.

Henderson swung in a free-kick from the right and Kane got away a header that beat goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic, only to come back off the crossbar.

None of the trio are expected to start against Spain, but Southgate may want to get some game time out of them during the worldwide break.

Ross Barkley had strong claims for a penalty waived away on his first worldwide appearance for two-and-a-half years before Rashford was twice presented with golden chances to score for the third straight game for his country. "We should have been more ruthless".

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