Sterling relishes World Cup stage as England’s number 10

Sterling relishes World Cup stage as England’s number 10

England concluded their 2018 FIFA World Cup preparations with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica in Leeds on Thursday.

Southgate made 10 changes from the side that beat Nigeria 2-1 on Saturday with 19-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool handed his global debut at right-back.

Navas was Costa Rica's hero of an incredible run to the World Cup quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil, helping to knock England out of the group stages on the way. BBC say 4%, but should it be higher?

This famous old ground was rocking throughout, from the opening rendition of "Football's coming home" to jeering Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas every time he was in possession, the 36,104 in attendance certainly knew how to create an atmosphere on a balmy Thursday evening.

"I have got 11 or 12 that are going to be hard to leave out because there is genuine competition for places", Southgate said.

He was a constant menace to the Costa Rican defence, scoring his sensational goal early and continuing to elude the opposition defence as he pushed for a starting spot in Southgate's side to face Tunisia in their WC opener. If I was thinking I have no one to play in this position or in that position, it would be a very different situation.

"It means a lot to be involved but going to the World Cup and playing a major part in my main aim", the 20-year-old said.

More news: Cut melons linked to salmonella outbreak in Michigan, Indiana

"When you come off the bench as a goalkeeper, for the boys in front [on the pitch] it is important you show confidence, so I was pleased", Pope told Sky Sports.

Neither are truly favourites to start any game at the World Cup for England given the club form of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling.

He picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and unleashed an unstoppable, angled drive which left serial Champions League victor Navas flapping at thin air.

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.

"I thought his link-up was good".

And Rashford admitted afterwards that this was his best game in an England shirt.

That was the one decision Southgate has made that has drawn any criticism, with some arguing that there was time between the end of the season and the start of the tournament for Lallana to get fit. Raheem Sterling heads to the World Cup off the back of an outstanding season with Manchester City, but his struggles to translate club form on the worldwide stage are well documented.

Related Articles

  • Halep tops Stephens to capture elusive 1st Grand Slam title

    Halep tops Stephens to capture elusive 1st Grand Slam title

    But Halep dug deep, squaring the final by winning the next two games, as Stephens fired a backhand wide on the first set point. She collected herself and relied on her superior fitness to wear down Stephens, who looked flat by the end of the second set.
    Hot-Shooting Curry Leads Warriors To NBA Title

    Hot-Shooting Curry Leads Warriors To NBA Title

    Game 3 of this year's Finals brought in a total audience of 17.9 million sets of eyeballs watching on ABC on Wednesday night. The Cleveland Cavaliers didn't enter Friday with much hope, trailing the Golden State Warriors 3-0 in the NBA Finals .
    Bienvenue, Alexa: Amazon's digital assistant heads to France

    Bienvenue, Alexa: Amazon's digital assistant heads to France

    The Fire TV Cube is Amazon's latest effort to position its devices, and the Alexa software, as an entertainment hub. You can pre-order the Fire TV Cube today for $119, and it'll include an IR extender cable and Ethernet adapter.
  • Bitcoin sceptic Jamie Dimon tells buyers to 'beware'

    Bitcoin sceptic Jamie Dimon tells buyers to 'beware'

    Both men said they still want companies to release detailed quarterly and annual financial data, so investors can evaluate them. Warren Buffett , Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon have picked a leader for their health care venture.
    Mike Levin: Jewish Vote Key To California Election

    Mike Levin: Jewish Vote Key To California Election

    Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern, a Republican , finished third in the race, but actually won more precincts than Gomez. For the party to return to any sort of power position in Washington, D.C. they need to regain the majority in the U.S.
    Scott Pruitt's abuses of power, ranked

    Scott Pruitt's abuses of power, ranked

    In reality, Pruitt was trying to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise. Kennedy seemed less impressed with Pruitt's work at the EPA. But that didn't stop Pruitt from racking up a sizable bill.
  • Perez replaces Lanzini in Argentina World Cup squad

    Perez replaces Lanzini in Argentina World Cup squad

    The injury obviously rules the 25-year-old out of the World Cup and he'll miss a large portion of the next Premier League season too.
    Forecasters say hurricane to form off Mexico's Pacific coast

    Forecasters say hurricane to form off Mexico's Pacific coast

    Study author James Kossin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Harvey is a great example of what he found. Previous research has shown that a warmer climate can hold more water moisture, so when it rains, it rains more .
    Golden State Warriors' Iguodala a game-time decision for Game 3

    Golden State Warriors' Iguodala a game-time decision for Game 3

    So someone asked LeBron, without "trying to get you to say anything negative", what he felt about the Cavs' competitive level now. They were asking for trouble. "That was wonderful what he did out there tonight", Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters.
  • Trump Leaves G-7 Summit With A Call To End 'Unfair' Trade

    Trump Leaves G-7 Summit With A Call To End 'Unfair' Trade

    It's unclear whether Trump was joking or falsely believed Canada was responsible for burning down the official home of the U.S. What was last year's G7 like? "We'll see how it all works out", he said, referring specifically to Canada.
    Trooping the Colour: Queen Elizabeth celebrates 92nd birthday

    Trooping the Colour: Queen Elizabeth celebrates 92nd birthday

    Charlotte clapped excitedly when the thousands of people gathered at the gates of Buckingham Palace applauded the aerial display. The head of state, who travelled in an Ascot Landau, wore a sky blue coat and dress by Stuart Parvin, and a hat by Angela Kelly.
    LeBron James ditches suit, rocks outfit with purple Nikes to Game 3

    LeBron James ditches suit, rocks outfit with purple Nikes to Game 3

    But I think having guys that get so excited about a good play, a good block or a good rotation or a good shot or dagger shot. Durant said the similarity with last year's shot - a moment that helped define his first championship - didn't occur to him.