Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Rashford shines as England cruise past Costa Rica

Rashford shines as England cruise past Costa Rica

Marcus Rashford has enjoyed the best last six months in a Man United shirt but he has looked at home on the worldwide stage since day one, and judging by his performance against Costa Rica he could be ready to the the World Cup by storm.

England coach Gareth Southgate used all six of his substitutes in the match with goalkeeper Nick Pope, Gary Cahill, Kieran Trippier and Jesse Lingard all seeing some action in the second period.

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was handed his England debut in the country's final friendly before the World Cup finals.

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And with 15 minutes remaining, Danny Welbeck capped off the win with a good instinctive header following Dele Alli's cross.

And for the first time since May 2016, an England home game had an atmosphere!

Danny Welbeck also justified his inclusion in Gareth Southgate's squad by coming off the bench to seal the win. 2014 of course saw the Three Lions eliminated in the group stage, but this year promises a lot more - particularly as England's group looks substantially weaker than it did in Brazil.

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The key question now for Southgate is whether he opts to play Rashford in attack alongside Harry Kane or whether Raheem Sterling will keep that role.

Despite scoring a second against Costa Rica after the break, England let their opponents back into the game on Thursday night and a better team would have undoubtedly punished them more.

For all their excitement and everything positive in the first halves of England's matches against Nigeria and Costa Rica, their play slipped after half-time in both games.

"My wife knows - they all know - that this is what I do, this is what I enjoy doing and this is the biggest tournament in the world".

In England's last match before their tournament opener against Tunisia in 11 days time, Manchester United's Rashford was the star of a much-changed side in Leeds.

Costa Rica face tournament favourites Brazil as well as Serbia and Switzerland in Group E, and will need to show far more ambition once they get to Russian Federation if they are to replicate their heroics of four years ago.

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