MX23RW : Thursday, August 16 16:07:47
Jun 7, 2018 at 8pm UK at ​Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 36,104
England
2-0
Costa Rica
Rashford (13'), Welbeck (76')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Matarrita (67'), Gonzalez (68')

Live Commentary: England 2-0 Costa Rica - as it happened

Live Commentary: England 2-0 Costa Rica - as it happened
© Reuters
Relive England's 2-0 win over Costa Rica as goals from Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck send the Three Lions off to the World Cup in winning fashion.

England ensured a winning send-off to the 2018 World Cup this evening courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica at Elland Road.

Marcus Rashford put in a man-of-the-match display to thrust himself into contention for a starting role in the World Cup opener, and he broke the deadlock with a stunning strike after just 13 minutes.

England dominated the vast majority of the match, but had to wait until 14 minutes from time to double their advantage when Danny Welbeck met Dele Alli's cross with a diving header which went in off the post.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.


Sort:
Newest
Oldest
7pmGood evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for England's final World Cup warm-up match as they host Costa Rica at Elland Road in Leeds!

It is not often the national team gets to play up North, and the stakes will be even higher than usual tonight considering it will be their final piece of action before the beginning of their World Cup campaign. Costa Rica will be in Russia this summer too, so this one is a big game for both teams.

Let's start by looking at the team news...


7.02pmENGLAND STARTING XI: Butland; Jones, Stones, Maguire; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Delph, Loftus-Cheek, Rose; Vardy, Rashford

7.02pmENGLAND SUBS: Pickford, Walker, Dier, Lingard, Kane, Sterling, Trippier, Welbeck, Cahill, Young, Alli, Pope

7.04pmCOSTA RICA STARTING XI: Navas; Gamboa, Waston, Gonzalez, Calvo, Oviedo; Venegas, Guzman, Borges, Campbell; Urena

7.04pmCOSTA RICA SUBS: Pemberton, Moreira, Acosta, Smith, Duarte, Bolanos, Matarrita, Colindres, Ruiz, Wallace, Azofeifa, Tejeda

7.06pmGareth Southgate promised changes for tonight's match, and he has certainly stuck to his word!

John Stones is the only player to keep his place in the starting lineup from the win over Nigeria, with Southgate making 10 changes in total for today's match ensuring that he gets a good look at all of his players before the tournament gets underway.

One player who doesn't get a run-out from the start of Burnley's Nick Pope, although the keeper is expected to make his England debut at some point tonight.


7.08pmPope has to wait for his debut, then, but Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold is handed his full England bow this evening, replacing Kieran Trippier as the wing-back.

Alexander-Arnold's first England outing caps off a stunning breakthrough season in which he established himself as Liverpool first-choice right-back and helped the team to the Champions League final, and the youngster now has one final chance to impress Southgate enough to earn a starting spot for the opening game of the World Cup.


7.10pmSouthgate once again goes with a three-man defence this evening as Jones and Maguire come into the team either side of Stones, with Danny Rose operating on the opposite flank to Alexander-Arnold.

The midfield trio is an interesting one too, with Jordan Henderson coming into the team after being rested for the Nigeria game following his Champions League final exploits. Alongside him are Fabian Delph - who featured at left-back for mist of the season at Man City - and Loftus-Cheek, who many will not have expected to have been in the squad at the start of this season.


7.12pmJamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford, the latter of whom came on as a sub against Nigeria, will lead the line for Southgate's side tonight, although those two centre-forward roles are perhaps the most certain ones in the team at the moment with Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling expected to start the opening World Cup game there.

As for how many of the rest of tonight's starting lineup will also begin the game against Tunisia, you would probably say around three tops - Stones, Henderson and Rose.


7.14pmAs for Costa Rica, they have a number of names the England fans will recognise from their time in the Premier League or in Scotland, and chief among them in Joel Campbell.

Campbell was the star of the show against Northern Ireland and scored during Costa Rica's 3-0 win in their last outing, but he has barely been given a chance for the Gunners and spent last season on loan at Real Betis. He may have a point to prove to some English fans here.

Costa Rica's Joel Campbell celebrates scoring during his side's international friendly with Northern Ireland on June 3, 2018© Reuters


7.16pmDespite being just 25 years old, Joel Campbell already has 75 caps and 15 international goals to his name, and he is one of a number of experienced players in this Costa Rica setup.

The most experience of the lot are Celso Borges and Bryan Ruiz, both of whom boast 109 appearances for their country, although Borges will temporarily take over Ruiz in the pecking order tonight having been named in the starting lineup, while Ruiz only makes the bench.


7.18pmRuiz is a former Fulham player and is considered Costa Rica's star player still, but there are lingering concerns over his fitness with just a week to go until the World Cup gets underway.

The wide man missed the Northern Ireland match through injury, but is back amongst the subs tonight alongside fellow fitness doubt Christian Bolanos. Also on that bench is Yeltsin Tejeda, who could win his 50th appearance for Costa Rica tonight.


7.20pmShould that be the case then Tejeda will be the 11th member of this current squad to have reach the 50-cap milestone for Costa Rica, and they also have five players who are in double figures in terms of international goals, whereas England only have two.

Elsewhere, many of the England players will be familiar with Sunderland's Bryan Oviedo and Celtic's Christian Gamboa.


7.22pmThere is plenty of experience, knowhow and quality in that Costa Rica team, then, and England have been stung enough times in recent years to know that they cannot afford to view this match as an easy game tonight.

Gareth Southgate's side will, of course, be the favourites to pick up the victory here, but there are still a number of questions that need answering about their team if they are to achieve anything of note at this summer's tournament.


7.24pmEven forgetting the 52 years of hurt since 1966, England's most recent experience of major tournaments has been particularly disappointing, with their exit from Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland being preceded by a failure to even get out of their group in Brazil four years ago.

Southgate may not have been in charge for England's worst World Cup showing since 1958, but he will be eager to atone for that this summer, and could even make an early start with victory over Costa Rica, who topped that group in 2014.


7.26pmThis is England's second and final warm-up game for this summer's World Cup, having overcome Nigeria with a 2-1 victory in the first one on Saturday.

There were plenty of positives for England to take from that match - particularly their confident, free-flowing football in the first half, but they were unable to adapt when Nigeria changed their formation and allowed the Africans back into the game before holding on for the win.

Harry Kane scores the second during the international friendly between England and Nigeria at Wembley on June 2, 2018© Reuters


7.28pmEngland have been drawn in Group G of the World Cup, where they will come up against Tunisia first up on June 18. That is followed with games against tournament debutants Panama and the much-fancied Belgium, by which stage Southgate will hope to have had qualification secured.

It is a group England really should have enough to qualify from, but Tunisia in particular may pose a stiffer test than many expect.


7.30pmEngland come into tonight's match on a nine-game unbeaten run, and Southgate would love to stretch that into double figures to take into the World Cup, not to mention more than a year without tasting defeat prior to the tournament.

Defensively the Three Lions have been particularly strong, conceding only two goals in their last seven outings, with Iwobi's strike for Nigeria on Saturday the only one of those to come from open play.


7.32pmEngland were one of only four teams to go through the European section of qualifying unbeaten, but that is not to say that is was a straightforward passage here.

Indeed, the nation was rocked when Sam Allardyce was forced to step down from his post after just one game. Southgate initially took over on a trial period, but he is still there now and is looking for his 10th win from 18 games as England boss tonight.

England manager Gareth Southgate watches on during training ahead of the 2018 World Cup© Reuters


7.34pmEngland record in friendlies under Southgate is not great, with Saturday's 2-1 triumph over Nigeria being just their second in their last eight such outings.

England are, however, unbeaten in their last five of those, and have not lost on home soil since March 2013 - 13 matches ago.


7.36pmCosta Rica will also be at this summer's tournament in Russia, and this is the second of their three warm-up matches, with a showdown against Belgium - one of England's group opponents - to come in Brussels on Monday.

Costa Rica's first such warm-up game was also against a home nation, though, as they made light work of Northern Ireland in San Jose on Sunday, running out fairly easy 3-0 winners.


7.38pmCosta Rica shocked everyone at the 2014 World Cup with their run to the quarter-finals, which is understandably their best ever showing at a World Cup.

The run was made even more remarkable considering the fact that they were not given a chance of evening getting into the knockout rounds, having been drawn in the group of death alongside England, Italy and Uruguay. However, not only did Costa Rica qualify, but they won the group before eventually going out on penalties to Netherlands.


7.40pmthe group this time around is not quite as daunting on paper, but they will still need to pull off an upset or two along the way if they are to qualifying from Group E.

First up in their campaign is a match against Serbia in Samara on June 17, before taking on Brazil and Switzerland in their final two group games. Serbia look like the kindest team on paper, so they will be glad to start their campaign off with that one, but Brazil and Switzerland will be fancied to occupy those top two spots.


7.42pmCosta Rica are not going into the tournament in particularly good form too, winning only two of their last eight outings across all competitions and losing half of those.

However, a 3-0 win over Northern Ireland will have raised expectations once again - particularly as they won the game so comfortably, and it is also worth noting that both of those victories in the last eight games have come this year, and against home nations.


7.44pmEngland are another step up from the other home nations at this stage, but if Costa Rica do manage to pull off back-to-back wins for the first time since last year's Gold Cup then they will certainly go into the World Cup with their confidence restored.

Costa Rica reached the semi-finals of that Gold Coast tournament before crashing out to USA, although they are at this summer's World Cup whereas USA are not.


7.46pmCosta Rica booked their place at this summer's World Cup with a game to spare in the CONCACAF section, although they did need a 95th-minute equaliser against Honduras to wrap that matter up before the final matchday.

Oscar Ramirez's side started their qualifying campaign with back-to-back wins - including a 4-0 drubbing of the USA - but despite a run of only two more wins in their next eight they still managed to finish above Panama, Honduras and USA.


7.48pmManager Oscar Ramirez actually took over in relatively similar conditions to Southgate, although his predecessor's time in charge makes Allardyce's look like Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Ramirez was originally named as assistant to former Costa Rica striker Paulo Wanchope, but Wanchope got in a fight in Panama just a week ofter his appointment, leading Ramirez to take the reins.


7.50pmPREDICTION: Right, we're 10 minutes away from kickoff at Elland Road, which means that it is time for a prediction..

England should have enough to beat Costa Rica today, even accounting for all of their changes. Costa Rica showed against Northern Ireland that they can be dangerous when coming forward, but this is a different proposition altogether and we're backing England to come away with the win.

SPORTS MOLE SAYS: England 2-1 Costa Rica


7.52pmThese two sides have only ever faced off on one previous occasion, and England fans will not want to remember that one in much of a hurry.

Defeats to Italy and Uruguay in their opening two World Cup group games four years ago saw England's fate decided before they came up against Costa Rica for match number three, which developed into a meaningless 0-0 draw.


7.54pmThat result ensured that England would finish bottom of their World Cup group whereas Costa Rica clinched top spot in the group of death.

Costa Rica actually hit the bar in that match too so could have easily won again to make it three wins from three in the groups, but England did at least manage to get themselves on the board in Brazil.


7.56pmEngland have chosen this match against Costa Rica in order to best prepare for the style Panama may play, as the tournament debutants are another team around which a certain degree of mystery still lies.

For Costa Rica, meanwhile, England may give them an example of how Switzerland will play, although their warm-up games seem a little less thought-out than those of England.


7.58pmRight, it's almost time for kickoff at Elland Road - the players are out and the anthems are being sung. Let's have a quick reminder of the team news before we do get started...

ENGLAND STARTING XI: Butland; Jones, Stones, Maguire; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Delph, Loftus-Cheek, Rose; Vardy, Rashford

COSTA RICA STARTING XI: Navas; Gamboa, Waston, Gonzalez, Calvo, Oviedo; Venegas, Guzman, Borges, Campbell; Urena


1 minKICKOFF: Here we go, then! We are underway at Elland Road!

3 minThere is a good atmosphere inside Elland Road tonight - the fans have already gone through 'Three Lions' and 'England, England, England' chants, and it is the type of noise you don't always get at Wembley. There is certainly an argument to be made for England touring around more often.

4 minLovely football from England as Rashford darts inside before exchanging passes with Loftus-Cheek, whose return ball is a skilful flick into the United forward's path. Nothing comes of it, but it is bright play from the hosts.

6 minThese fringe players look eager to make an early impression for England here. They have started at a good tempo and seem keen to get on the board as soon as possible tonight - much of the delight of this Leeds crowd.

7 minDelph swings a free kick into the middle and Maguire is left all alone, but Navas does well to claw the ball away from the head of the Leicester man, winning a free kick of his own in the process.

9 minOFF THE BAR! An outswinging corner looks to be drifting to nothing, but Jones backtrack and gets his head to it from almost the edge of the box. His hopeful effort loops up and hits the top of the crossbar, although Navas looked to have it covered.

11 minThis is a good, bright and hungry young England team tonight, and they look like they have been told to go out and express themselves. Here is a brilliant early piece of skill from Rashford...



13 minGOAL! England 1-0 Costa Rica (Marcus Rashford)

13 minBoom! There is a statement from Marcus Rashford, who may have just blasted his way into contention for a start against Tunisia!

Keylor Navas of Real Madrid is the man in goal for Costa Rica tonight, but he cannot get close to this one and Rashford unleashes an unstoppable dipping effort right into the top corner. The United man collects the ball, turns and then just goes for goal, and it is such a good strike that it is almost past Navas before he can react!

Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring during the friendly game between England and Costa Rica on June 7, 2018© Reuters


15 minThat will give Rashford such confidence, and also the other England players in this team tonight. There is sometimes the feeling that players are scared to try anything when wearing the England shirt, but not Rashford tonight.

17 minFeast your eyes on this strike - the dip was just devastating and left Navas no chance at all.



19 minEngland are still in complete control of this match, dominating possession and keeping Costa Rica pinned back inside their own half. Rashford in particular looks ready to enjoy himself tonight.

21 minCHANCE! Huge chance for England to make it 2-0, but Navas thwarts Vardy from point-blank range. A corner is played short before eventually being played into the box by Delph. Maguire wins the header and cushions it into a dangerous area, where Vardy is waiting right on the edge of the six-yard box. It looks like a certain goal, but the ball just doesn't fall for Vardy quickly enough and Navas is immediately off his line to smother the shot. Very good goalkeeping.

23 minCosta Rica look terrified every time Rashford gets the ball, and he seems to beat a defender every time he has it too. It is a breath of fresh air to see the youngster enjoying his football - something he doesn't necessarily do at United yet alone England.



25 minJones strides forward from defence and links up with Alexander-Arnold before seeing his deflected cross loop up and into the arms of Navas - although the keeper did have to backtrack to prevent it going over his head.

27 minSAVE! Costa Rica have had no joy whatsoever going forward, until now. Stones is caught out of position and nobody covers from him, allowing Urena to feed the ball into the path of Venegas. The Costa Rica forward dips inside before trying to pick out the far top corner, but Butland is there to make a good stop.

29 minA case for Rashford to start against Tunisia? He is certainly not doing himself any harm so far...



30 minDelph swings another free kick into the middle and again Maguire is the man going for it, but this time he cannot get his head to the ball. He is a towering presence in the penalty area, though.

32 minEngland play a corner really quickly to keep the pressure on Costa Rica, and Rashford is again heavily involved. He lends Henderson the ball to break into the box, but just cannot beat his man after latching on to the reverse pass.

34 minVardy almost got in on the act here, but Navas made a really good stop to deny the Leicester striker...



36 minGareth Southgate will be very happy with his side's performance in this match so far. The frustration will be that they haven't added to their lead, but they have been utterly dominant tonight.

38 minMore quick feet from Rashford wins England another free kick, and this time it is Alexander-Arnold who puts it into a good area, but Costa Rica clear it behind for a corner.

39 minCHANCE! Half a chance for England to add to their tally as Delph swings another corner into the area which is, again, met by the head of Maguire. He plants his header straight at Loftus-Cheek, but the midfielder cannot bring it down as the ball bounces off his chest and away.

40 minCampbell manages to get in behind Maguire before cutting back inside past the backtracking England defender, but his cross into the area is too far in front of Venegas.

42 minManchester United fans may be watching this Rashford performance and wondering why he isn't allowed to do this for their club. He is pulling all of the tricks out of his bag and seems to be playing with much more freedom than we have seen him do so for a while.

44 minThe tempo of this game has dropped a little as this half has worn on, and the challenge for England now is to maintain this dominance in the second half - something they were not able to do against Nigeria.

45+1 minThere will be one minute of added time at the end of this first half.

45+1 minHALF TIME: England 1-0 Costa Rica

8.56pmThe first half comes to an end at Elland Road, and England will be delighted at the interval following a bright and encouraging display which has given them a 1-0 lead over Costa Rica.

England have dominated pretty much from the first whistle in this game, with Costa Rica only creating one sight of goal. The hosts should be further ahead in truth, but they can be very happy with their performance so far.


8.58pmThe only goal of the game was a cracker from Rashford after 13 minutes when he fired a dipping drive from 25 yards into the top corner, leaving Navas no chance in the Costa Rica goal.

Rashford was allowed the space to turn and shoot, and he took full advantage of that with a stunning shot. The United man has looked full of confidence throughout this match so far and the Costa Rican players look terrified every time he gets the ball.


9pmEngland have created other chances too, with Vardy in particular missing a clear opening when Navas thwarted him from close range.

Maguire had nodded the ball into the path of the Leicester striker, but the ball just didn't fall for him until it was too late. Phil Jones has also hit the crossbar with a looping header, while Loftus-Cheek missed a good opening when he couldn't bring the ball down inside the area.


9.02pmAs far as Costa Rica are concerned, their only meaningful sight of goal arrived shortly before the half-hour mark when Venegas sent a curling effort towards the top corner.

Butland had been a mere spectator up to the point, but he stayed alert and made a decent save to keep his side in the lead. There has not been much opportunity for him to show why he should start ahead of Pickford.


46 minKICKOFF: Costa Rica get us underway for the second half at Elland Road!

48 minEngland were dominant in possession during that first half, but part of that was also down to how hard they worked out of possession. They have pressed Costa Rica really well tonight, winning the ball back quickly after losing it.

50 minCosta Rica have started this second half a little better, seeing more of the ball and preventing England from enjoying such a stranglehold over the game.

51 minSAVE! The first shot of the second half comes from Costa Rica as Urena gets a shot away from a tight angle, and it bounces just in front of Butland, who has already gone to ground. The England keeper still grabs it, but he looks relieved afterwards as that one could have made him look silly.

53 minRashford gets on the ball for the first time in this second half and immediately it looks like something could happen. He slides a pass inside Delph, who seems to be in two minds and eventually just fires his cross against the defender.

55 minThis Leeds crowd has kept the noise up throughout this match, which has helped to spur the team on too. It has been an all-round refreshing display from the hosts.

56 minSAVE! England almost have a second as the ball breaks to Henderson and he unleashes a powerful first-time effort which stings the palms of Navas.

56 minOFF THE LINE! The resulting corner is met by Maguire yet again, who is left with a free stooping header. He diverts it towards the bottom corner, but Oviedo is there to hack it away off the line.

58 minSHOT! Costa Rica hit back with a sight of goal themselves as Gamboa unleashes a powerful strike from range, but it is always rising and Butland watches it over the crossbar.

60 minCOSTA RICA SUBS: Two changes for Costa Rica here as Christian Bolanos and Ronald Matarrita come on for the visitors.

61 minENGLAND SUB: England also make their first change of the evening, with Danny Welbeck replacing Vardy.

63 minSHOT! The ball breaks kindly for Loftus-Cheek as he drives forward from midfield before trying his luck, but he drags his effort a few yards wide of the target.

64 minENGLAND SUBS: Another couple of changes for England here as Liverpool duo Henderson and Alexander-Arnold are replaced by Dele Alli and Kieran Trippier.

65 minENGLAND SUBS: Indeed, make that a quadruple change, and an England debut for Nick Pope too as he replaces Butland. Gary Cahill is also on in place of Stones.

67 minEngland haven't been quiet as dominant in this second half, but they have had their moments. Here is one such moment - Henderson's powerful strike which was too hot to handle for Navas...



68 minYELLOW CARDS! Matarrita goes into the book for a foul which saw Loftus-Cheek win a free kick in a good position, while Gonzalez also gets one for dissent.

69 minCOSTA RICA SUB: Change for Costa Rica as Yeltsin Tejeda comes on for his 50th cap, replacing Guzman.

70 minSHOT! Trippier goes for goal from the resulting free kick, but he cannot get enough on his curling effort as it flies wide.

72 minCOSTA RICA SUB: It might be the most English name imaginable, but Ian Smith is in fact a Costa Rica player coming on here, replacing Gamboa.

74 minThose substitutions have disrupted the flow of this game, as is so often the case in these friendlies. England have just gone off the boil a little in the second half again here.

75 minCHANCE! Trippier's cross from the right finds its way all the way through to Rose, who goes for a first-time volley which is mis-hits and fires wide of the target.

76 minGOAL! England 2-0 Costa Rica (Danny Welbeck)

76 minEngland finally have their second goal, and it is Danny Welbeck who gets his name on the scoresheet with just under 15 minutes remaining!

Rashford slides an incisive pass into the box for Alli, who in turn looks up and is perhaps trying to pick out the bottom corner himself when he puts the ball into the box. However, Welbeck has stayed onside and launches himself at the ball to send a diving header in off the post.


78 minThat is very much game over now, and the two-goal margin certainly does not flatter the hosts. They have been good tonight.

79 minENGLAND SUB: Another change from the hosts here as Jesse Lingard replaces Loftus-Cheek.

80 minMore good football from England as they work the ball to Lingard on the edge of the box, but he is forced further out wide and his eventual shot is blocked.

82 minHere is that Welbeck goal, and he did just enough to squeeze it in...



84 minJones drills a cross into the middle and it hits a Costa Rica defender before zipping towards goal, but Navas is there to make the save.

86 minThe England team has impressed tonight, and the crowd has impressed too. This has really been an advert for playing more games on the road for the Three Lions.

87 minSAVE! Pope is called into action for the first time as an England keeper, getting his angles right to keep out a well-struck effort from Matarrita.

89 minNot a bad performance from Loftus-Cheek tonight, but he perhaps hasn't done enough to play his way into the starting lineup on June 18...



90+1 minThere will be three minutes of added time at the end of this match.

90+3 minFULL TIME: England 2-0 Costa Rica

9.58pmThe referee brings an end to proceedings at a noisy Elland Road, and it is England who emerge victorious to send themselves off to Russia in winning fashion and on a 10-match unbeaten streak.

Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck got the goals to fire Gareth Southgate's side past Costa Rica, and a number of the fringe players - Rashofrd in particular - may have played their way into contention for a start against Tunisia on June 18 tonight.


10pmRight, that is all we have time for this evening!

Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's match as England end their World Cup preparations with a victory over Costa Rica. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.

From me, though, it is goodbye for now!


Share this article now:
Nick Pope during an England training session on May 22, 2018
Read Next:
Nick Pope to be handed England debut?
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
Tables

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account