Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Marcus Rashford Scores Thunderbastard In Costa Rica Friendly

Marcus Rashford Scores Thunderbastard In Costa Rica Friendly

Manager Gareth Southgate made 10 changes to the team that beat Nigeria 2-1 on Saturday, with John Stones the one player to keep his place, while Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold made his debut at right wing-back.

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.

In 2014, Costa Rica practically shocked the world as they topped their World Cup group ahead of Uruguay, Italy and Thursday night's opponents England. But if it means seeing more goals like that of Rashford's tonight, then I'm all for it.

Southgate made widespread alterations in a bid to test his options and for the most part was rewarded with an encouraging display, with Rashford superbly opening the scoring before Danny Welbeck came off the bench to secure a 2-0 win against underwhelming Costa Rica.

Southgate said: "For sure Jack Butland plays in goal".

"We asked the players to give us competition for places, and they've done that".

England were in the ascendancy and Rashford was exciting the Yorkshire crowd with a number of flashy touches and silky skills.

"I thought his link-up was good".

"I feel in good physical form leading up to the tournament".

Rashford had a disappointing end to United's Premier League season, and Southgate felt he may have been trying too hard.

"Some of the individual situations like Danny and Raheem's have come up and have allowed us to talk about different things and support each other", the Three Lions boss said.

Mindful of the loyal support for England across Yorkshire over the years, Harrogate-based Southgate told The Yorkshire Post: "I have been here for 15 years, so we are very settled and I know the support in the area for England, but also football generally". I still need to get in the box a bit more to finish off chances.

"Anything is possible. We have to go with the highest expectations".

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