Searing Pace Can Set England Apart Ahead Of Of World Cup Tilt

Watch: Marcus Rashford Scores Thunderbastard In Costa Rica Friendly

International Friendly Report: England v Costa Rica 07 June 2018

Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck - who is heading to Russian Federation as the squad's highest goalscorer - netted either side of half time during the Three Lions' 2-0 victory over Costa Rica at Elland Road on Thursday evening to round off a pleasing pre-tournament spell.

At the back too, players are forcing Southgate to think again about his starting line-up.The wing-backs in particular were excellent against Costa Rica, with Danny Rose and debutant Trent Alexander-Arnold showing that they've got the defensive nous and attacking flair to make an impact in Russian Federation. BBC say 4%, but should it be higher?

But Elland Road was lit up on 13 minutes when Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford got the ball just outside the box and unleashed a wicked strike that moved in the air as it sailed past Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas and nestled in the back of the net.

The 47-year-old also singled out Loftus-Cheek as another player firmly knocking on his door for a place on the team sheet.

His headed effort from Dele Alli's cross makes him the top scorer in Gareth Southgate's squad heading for the Russia World Cup.

Starting in place of Kane on Thursday, Jamie Vardy did not have the best game to stake his claim for a place in Southgate's XI.

However, there was a gulf in class even between Southgate's largely second string line-up and the Central Americans as England dominated.

Victories over fellow finalists Costa Rica and Nigeria in friendly matches have triggered a wave of optimism about England's chances.

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"Defensive side of the game (was) good, a couple of lapses of concentration".

England's rhythm was then stunted by five quickfire substitutions, including a debut for Burnley's Nick Pope in goal.

Ten minutes into the second half, Harry Maguire was unlucky not to double the lead for the hosts after his header was cleared off the line by Bryan Oviedo.

Behind Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling in the pecking order, Rashford had seemingly been earmarked for the role of impact substitute at the World Cup; a shot in the arm of lightning pace when England run out of zip.

Jordan Henderson is likely to make also make an appearance for England on Thursday, as he has also returned to the squad after a post-Champions League final break.

And his very presence sparked a marked improvement in Portugal's attacking thrust as he was involved in nearly every risky move the hosts conjured until he was replaced on 74 minutes.

As part of a concerted campaign on possible disorder during the World Cup, posters and banners are highlighting three key areas of crime that are often associated with major sporting tournaments - domestic abuse, alcohol related violence and drink or drug driving. Algeria did not qualify.

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