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UEFA Nations League, Croatia 0-0 England - Hits and Flops from the game

Nived Zenith
Top 5 / Top 10
870   //    13 Oct 2018, 07:30 IST

The two teams were inseparable at the end
The two teams were inseparable at the end

England and Croatia, who last met during the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, played out a 0-0 draw behind closed doors at the Stadion HNK Rijeka in their UEFA Nations League clash on Friday night. The game proved to be a cagey affair in the first half as both teams struggled to ignite the spark that would create the opening inside the opposition's final third.

However, the game opened up in the second half but the teams managed to salvage a point thanks to their miserable fortunes in front of goal. Both Eric Dier and Harry Kane were denied by the woodwork when the Three Lions threatened from set-piece routines while the hosts were kept at bay courtesy of some resilient defending from England.

Gareth Southgate will be the happiest of the two managers as he effectively avoided defeat in a tricky game away from home without losing second place in the standings. Both teams are yet to win their first game in the competition and are five points away from leaders Spain, who are pretty much the runaway leaders in Group 4.

The result meant that Zlatko Dalic's men could well face relegation from Group 4 in League A, if the barren run continues, due to their inferior goal difference. On that note, let's take a closer look at the best and worst performers from the UEFA Nations League clash in Croatia:

#5 Hit - Dominik Livakovic

Livakovic pulled off a decisive save in the second half
Livakovic pulled off a decisive save in the second half

The shot-stopper looked assured between the sticks for Croatia all-night and his concentration levels were never breached despite him being largely not involved during the first half. Dominik Livakovic showcased good command over his penalty area and was equally adept at dealing with aerial threats from set-pieces.

However, his stand-out contribution came in the second half when he denied Marcus Rashford a goal with a fantastic reflex save after the winger was played through by Raheem Sterling. Livakovic proved that he is an able deputy to Daniel Subasic with that performance and ensured that the hosts walked away with at least a point.

The 23-year-old custodian is quickly learning the tricks of the trade courtesy of his involvement with Dinamo Zagreb and will be aiming to build on his confidence after this result.

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