The UEFA Nations League A, Group 4 consists of Spain, Croatia, and England – surely one of the tougher groups. This week, the Three Lions traveled to the Stadion HNK Rijeka, where they were met with World Cup finalists Croatia.
After a blowout against Spain (6-0 loss) in Matchday 1, the red and white checkered side were looking to bounce back against Gareth Southgate’s men. However, the match ended with a 0-0 draw – no goals scored, no goals conceded. This goalless match resulted in Croatia and England receiving their first point of the Nations League – Spain sits in first with 6 points after defeating both their European neighbors.
Southgate’s team went close to scoring in the first half with several occasions firstly from Eric Dier hitting the post, followed by Harry Kane hitting the crossbar; Marcus Rashford also has a glorious chance in front of goal that he fluffed. In the second half, the Tottenham striker gave England the advantage, but he was deemed offside.
There was one Lazio player in action in this match and that was the new arrival from Fiorentina, Milan Badelj. Although not starting (Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Ivan Rakitic started in the midfield), he entered the pitch in the 73′ replacing Kovacic, thus giving him 22 minutes of playing time (17′ plus 5′ of extra time). Experience is key and manager Zlatko Dalic knows this – he was able to control the match in the final minutes to make sure of securing at least one point.