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  Sunday, 18 November 2018
League of Nations League A Group four match


England 2 Croatia 1 [0-0]
 

The National Stadium connected by EE, Wembley, Brent, Greater London
Kick-off (GMT): 2.00pm
Attendance: 78,221

Croatia kicked-off 95 minutes 46:15 & 48:32 Match Summary
England Squad
Croatia Squad

[1-1] Jesse Lingard 78 77:24
 one-yard tap-in after Kane poked the ball through from a long Gomez thow-in

[2-1] Harry Kane 85 84:30
 6-yard poke-in from a Chilwell free-kick
[0-1] Andrej Kramarić 57 56:32
deflected off Dier to loop over Pickford after an 14-yard strike
Ross Barkley 26 25:08
Marcelo Brozović 
67 66:19
Tin Jedvaj
67 66:22
Dejan Lovren 89 88:28
Commentator: Martin Tyler with Alan Smith
 

Match Summary

Officials from Greece

England

Type

             
    Cr oat ia    
Referee (sky blue) Anastasios Sidiropoulos
 39 (9 August 1979), Rhodes, FIFA-listed 2011.
 
Assistant Referees - Polychronis Kostaras,
35 (1983), and Lazaros Dimitriadis

Fourth official - Damianos Efthimiadis, 45 (1973), FIFA-listed 2010.
 

Additional assistant Referees - Anastasios Papapetrou and Ioannis Papadopoilos

UEFA Delagte: Martin Sturkenboom
, Netherlands
15 Goal Attempts 11
7 Attempts on Target 3
0 Hit Bar/Post 0
9 Corner Kicks Won 4
3 Offside Calls Against 2
9 Fouls Conceded 11
63% Possession 37%

England Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (25 Oct 2018) 5th
EFO ranking Group One
ELO rating 8th
Colours: The Nike 2018 home shirt - White v-necked jerseys with red trim on collar, white shorts, white socks.
Capt: Harry Kane, fifteenth captaincy Manager: Gareth Southgate, 48 (3 September 1970), appointed caretaker manager on 24 September 2016, appointed as permanent manager on 30 November 2016.
31st match, W 17 - D 8 - L 6 - F 49 - A 24.
England Lineup
1 Pickford, Jordan L. 24 7 March 1994 G Everton FC 15 14 GA
2 Walker, Kyle A. 28 28 May 1990 RB Manchester City FC 44 0
3 Chilwell, Benjamin J. 21 21 December 1996 LB Leicester City FC 5 0
4 Dier, Eric J.E. 24 15 January 1994 LM Tottenham Hotspur FC 38 3
5 Gomez, Joseph D. 21 23 May 1997 CD Liverpool FC 6 0
6 Stones, John 24 28 May 1994 CD Manchester City FC 37 0
7 Barkley, Ross, off 63rd min. 24 5 December 1993 LM Chelsea FC 25 2
Barkley cautioned in the 26th min. for Unsporting Behaviour, after he brought down Modric as he was sprinting away down the touchline.
8 Delph, Fabian, off 73rd min. 28 21 November 1989 CM Manchester City FC 18 0
9 Kane, Harry E. 25 28 July 1993 LF Tottenham Hotspur FC 35 20
10 Sterling, Raheem S. 23 8 December 1994 AM Manchester City FC 47 4
11 Rashford, Marcus, off 73rd min. 20 31 October 1997 RF Manchester United FC 31 6
England Substitutes
scoreline: England 0 Croatia 1
20 Alli, Bamidele J., on 63rd min. (62:52) for Barkley 22 11 April 1996 LM Tottenham Hotspur FC 33 3
14 Lingard, Jesse E., on 73rd min. (72:30) for Delph 25 15 December 1992 LF Manchester United FC 22 4
17 Sancho, Jadon M., on 73rd min. (72:31)  for Rashford 18 25 March 2000 RF BSV Borussia 09 eV Dortmund, Germany 3 0
result: England 2 Croatia 1

unused substitutes:

12-Trent Alexander-Arnold, 13-Jack Butland, 15-Lewis Dunk, 16-Michael Keane, 18-Luke Shaw, 19-Harry Winks, 21-Alex McCarthy, 22-Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 23-Callum WIlson.

team notes:

Jesse Lingard's appearance as substitute extends Manchester United's record of providing players appearances for the National Team, now at 1,300.
 
4-3-3 Pickford -
Walker, Gomez, Stones, Chilwell -
Barkley
(Alli), Dier, Delph (Lingard) -
Sterling, Kane, Rashford
(Sancho)

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 23.8 Appearances/Goals 27.4 3.1
 

Croatia Team

 

Rank:

FIFA (25 Oct 2018) 4th
EFO ranking
n/a
ELO rating
10th to 11th
Colours: Made by Nike - Black and navy chequered shirts (plain black reverse) with navy collar/cuffs, black shorts, red socks with black calf hoop.
Capt: Luka Modrić Manager: Zlatko Dalić, 52 (26 October 1966), appointed 7 October 2017
twentieth match, W 11 - D 4 - L 5 - F 33 - A 29.
Croatia Lineup
12 Kalinić, Lovre 28 3 April 1990 GK KAA Gent, Belgium 16 0
2 Vrsaljko, Šime, off 26th min. 26 10 January 1992 RB FC Internazionale Milano SpA, Italy 45 0
21 Vida, Domagoj 29 29 April 1989 CD Beşiktaş JK, Turkey 71 4
4 Perišić, Ivan 29 2 February 1989 LF FC Internazionale Milano SpA, Italy 78 21
16 Jedvaj, Tin 22 28 November 1995 LB/RB Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Germany 18 2
Jedvaj cautioned in the 67th min. for Unsporting Behaviour, for pulling back on Rashford before Brozović clattered him down.
6 Lovren, Dejan 29 5 July 1989
in Bosnia & Herzegovina
CD Liverpool FC, England 50 2
Lovren cautioned in the 89th min. for Dissent, after he complained too much at the referee for his team not being awarded a free-kick quick enough.
18 Rebić, Ante, off 46th min. 25 21 September 1993 CF Eintracht Frankfurt eV, Germany 26 2
8 Vlašić, Nikola, off 79th min. 21 4 October 1997 LM PFC Central Sport Club of the Army, Moscow, Russia, on loan from Everton FC, England 4 0
9 Kramarić, Andrej 27 19 June 1991 RF TSV 1899 Hoffenheim eV, Germany 42 12
10 Modrić, Luka 33 9 September 1985 RM Real Madrid CF, Spain 118 14
11 Brozović, Marcelo 25 16 November 1992 CM FC Internazionale Milano SpA, Italy 44 6
Jedvaj cautioned in the 67th min. for Dissent, after disagreeing with the decision that he brought down Rashford.
Croatia Substitutes
scoreline: England 0 Croatia 0
3 Millić, Antonio, on 26th min.  (25:45) for Vrsaljko 24 10 March 1994 LB RSC Anderlecht, Belgium 3 0
7 Brekalo, Josip, on 46th min. for Rebić 23 23 June 1998 CF VfL Wolfsburg eV, Germany 2 0
scoreline: England 1 Croatia 1
17 Rog, Marko, on 79th min. (78:15) for Vlašić 23 19 July 1995 LM SSC Napoli, Italy 16 0
result: England 2 Croatia 1

unused substitutes:

1-Dominik Livaković, 5-Matej Mitrović, 13-Duje Ćaleta-Car, 14-Filip Bradarić, 15-Mario Pašalić, 19-Milan Badelj, 20-Marko Pjaca, 22-Josip Pivarić, 23-Karlo Letica.
 
4-3-3 Kalinić -
Vrsaljko
(Millić), Lovren, Vida, Jedvaj -
Modrić, Brozović, Vlasić
(Rog) -
Kramarić, Rebić
(Brekalo), Perišić

Averages (Starting XI):

Age 26.7 Appearances/Goals 46.5 5.6

 

    Match Report by Mike Payne

England went into this game, full of confidence that they could gain the win they needed to progress in the new Nations League competition.  However, there were all sorts of permutations depending on the result, so a full Wembley Stadium was geared up to travel through the emotions and ride the roller-coaster.  England did not let them down and provided a belter of an afternoon.

A mistake by Jordan Pickford in the third minute almost gifted Croatia a dream start as he dashed from goal, hesitated as a shot hit him on the chest and then watched helplessly as Ante Rebic fired the rebound over the top of the empty goal.  That was a let off, but England soon knuckled down and gradually took control.  John Stones sent Kyle Walker scampering down the right but goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic beat Harry Kane to the ball.  Raheem Sterling’s pace was already causing Croatia problems and a flick by Ross Barkley almost sent him through.  That led to a corner, which then led to another as the England pressure grew.

England fashioned a fine chance in the 11th minute when a superb through ball from Kane sent Sterling away with just the goalkeeper to beat.  He shot hard, but straight at Kalinic, and the goalkeeper blocked the shot.  That was the best chance so far but immediately there was another close call as Stones headed across goal only for Kane to scuff his shot wide, the bounce beating the England talisman.  Once again, despite the missed chances England had started really well and the Croatian defenders were using all their experience to stay in the game.

On 15 minutes another attack made everyone wonder how the ball stayed out of the visitors goal.  Fabian Delph hit a fabulous pass towards Sterling but the goalkeeper blocked the ball.  It ran loose to Kane though and the striker shot was headed off the line by Tin Jedvaj.  The ball rebounded to Kane but this time the goalkeeper dived to turn the shot away.  It was intense pressure from England, but they couldn’t quite find that crucial finish.

Croatia made a couple of dangerous breaks and it was obvious England would have to maintain concentration.  Luka Modric is a class act in the midfield and from one attack Stones had to cut out a dangerous cross from Ivan Perisic.  Eventually Pickford saved the ball and immediately sent one of those terrific raking passes to Marcus Rashford who broke at tremendous speed.  Only a last ditch tackle stopped the Manchester United youngster.  Two minutes later and Ben Chilwell, having another fine match, fired in an angled drive which Kalinic did well to save.

There was a little bit of a lull in the play as the match approached the half-hour mark.  An injury to Simi Vrsaljko meant that Croatia had to make an early change, Antonio Millic coming on to replace the defender.  The Croatian attack were cleverly inter-changing and the England defenders had to be alert at all times.

On 40 minutes though a lovely move involving Chilwell, Delph and Kane ended with Barkley hitting the side-netting with his shot.  At the other end Rebic again shot over and right on the whistle Perisic was only inches away from a Modric cross.  At half-time it was tight and tense, although England had had much the better of the play, and the best chances.  All to play for after the break.

T
he second-half continued in the same way, with England on top but Croatia dangerous on the break.  Modric again finds Perisic with a fine pass but Stones is quickly across to stifle the danger.  Eric Dier clears and Sterling’s pass sends Rashford sprinting away again on a fine run, but Kalinic again makes the save.  England were so much on top, but they just could not find a killer finish.  As so often happens in these situations, one lapse in concentration gives the opposition a chance, and this time Croatia take it.  In the 57th minute the ball finds Andrej Kramaric in a central position 12 yards out.  He is surrounded by defenders, although no challenge comes in.  Kramaric twists and turns and eventually finds the space for a two shots, the first is blocked but rebounds to him, and the second shot hits Dier on the shin and loops over Pickford.  The goalkeeper seemed to dive too early, but the end result is that Croatia take the lead and England need two goals.

Croatia were cock-a-hoop now and came close again with another break that led to Marcello Brozovic hitting his shot too high.  At this point Gareth Southgate sent on Dele Alli for Barkley and with 69 minutes on the clock Croatia seemed in control, although Walker saw his shot saved by Kalinic.  With 17 minutes to go Southgate brought on Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard for Rashford and Delph, to try and improve the attacking options.  It was a brave move and after Croatia went close again the England changes came good.

In the 78th minute England had a throw in on the right.  Joe Gomez took it and sent a long throw into the area.  The ball flicked off someone’s head to Kane and although he was challenged he still managed to flick the ball under the keeper and towards the goalline.  The ball was going agonisingly slowly, but Lingard was sharpest and tapped it over the line from six inches!  Game on!

It was ironic because that goal had come against the run of play too, and it was England who now had their tails up.  The game was on a knife-edge and the crowd really raised the decibel levels.  The danger was not over though and Lingard turned from hero to superhero as he cleared a header from Domagoj Vida off the line.  It was fever pitch, and in the 85th minute England won a free-kick on the left.  The impressive Chilwell curled in a beauty and there, stretching at the far post was Kane, toe-ending the ball past Kalinic.  Rarely has this new Wembley seen scenes like it as the crowd and the players went mental!  It was still not over but England played out those last minutes very well with Stones and Gomez superb, Chilwell, the find of the season, and every player putting in a magnificent shift to see it over the line.

Strength, skill, character, resilience, all the things you say about Croatia, but this time we were talking about England!  What a game, what a result, and what a way to finish what has been a terrific year for the England team.

To sum up, there was no doubt England deserved to win this match and although Croatia were often dangerous, there was no doubt that England had the better of the game, and the chances.  These really are exciting times for our National team.
 

Source Notes

BBC Sport
TheFA.com
HNS-CFF
Mike Payne - football historian and contributor

____________________

CG