Rashford stars as England beat Costa Rica in warm-up

Marcus Newton
June 8, 2018

With the Group G opener against Tunisia looming large, the Three Lions followed up Saturday's 2-1 win against Nigeria with a comfortable victory against Costa Rica in their final warm-up friendly.

England hosted Costa Rica at Elland Road on Thursday night, with Jordan Henderson captaining his side.

What he and the fans will only discover in Russian Federation, when the Three Lions open their campaign against Tunisia on 18 June, is whether this young generation of players can handle the pressure of tournaments in a way so many of their predecessors couldn't.

Southgate called the goal "world class" but he was just as happy with the all-round play of the 20-year-old Manchester United forward.

Phil Jones clipped the crossbar with a header but it was Rashford who looked brightest in a positive early spell for England, and it was fitting for him to break the deadlock.

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

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"I just tried to play free today and enjoy myself but try and do it within a structure, so it's good practise for what we need in the tournament". It means a lot to be involved but going to the World Cup and playing a major part in my main aim.

"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".

The only other time these two teams met was in the 2014 World Cup, which was a notoriously (what some would call boring) 0-0 draw.

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

Real Madrid goalkeeper Navas was completely caught out moments later, though, as Rashford unleashed a powerful drive from 25 yards that dipped perfectly over him and into the top corner for his third worldwide goal.

Loftus-Cheek dragged wide from distance before goalkeeper Nick Pope came on for his debut among a swathe of England alterations.

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