Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Rashford scores stunner as England ease past Costa Rica

Rashford scores stunner as England ease past Costa Rica

England signed off for the World Cup with a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica at Elland Road.

Danny Welbeck also justified his inclusion in Gareth Southgate's squad by coming off the bench to seal the win.

England play their other World Cup group games against Panama on 24 June and Belgium on 28 June.

Rashford's dipping drive on 13 minutes was the highlight of an all-round satisfactory evening for Southgate as the hosts extended their unbeaten run to 10 games, stretching back almost a year.

"You work on them (goals) in training every day and when one comes up in a game it's a reward", Rashford told ITV.

They say it's a team game but it was Rashford's goal of pure brilliance in the first-half which was the best moment of the match.

"Going to the World Cup and playing a major part in my main aim", he added.

"We did not want to have too many matches, but it means that the two games that we have got are very important".

"We could go through 11 of those on the basis of what we saw tonight - and that's critical because we won't progress on 11 players chosen in the first game".

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The spectacular attempt had England fans on their feet, with the 20-year-old lapping up the applause from the Leeds fans who had reminded him of his Manchester United connections before kick-off.

Delph's delivery from the corner flag earned England another chance to attack and Phil Jones' stooping header nearly caught Navas off his line.

Rashford opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a stunning dipping shot from 25 yards, which left Costa Rica and Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas with no chance.

Gareth Southgate, having decided on a final 23-man England squad, will be hoping to see strong competition for places in the starting XI.

The Central American side will be looking to put another dampener on England's World Cup party before it has even begun.

It would have been more had the Three Lions showed a cutting edge, but there was far more to shout about in comparison to the countries' last meeting at the World Cup four years ago.

Southgate rang the changes after the hour mark as Dele Alli, Danny Welbeck, Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope were introduced for the home side.

The resulting set-piece was met by Harry Maguire, who diverted a free looping header towards the bottom corner, but Bryan Oviedo hacked it off the line.

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