• Costa Rica 0-0 England, World Cup Group D

England go out with a whimper

ESPN staff
June 24, 2014
Daniel Sturridge watches as his effort goes wide of the post © Getty Images

England ended a disappointing World Cup campaign with arguably their worst performance of the three group matches as they drew 0-0 with Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte.

Roy Hodgson had named the England starting XI almost 24 hours before kick-off, with Ross Barkley, Frank Lampard and Jack Wilshere among the notable inclusions. Luke Shaw also began his first World Cup match at left-back.

It was Costa Rica who forced the early pressure, despite having already qualified for the last 16. Arsenal forward Joel Campbell had an early shot that whistled over Ben Foster's bar via a deflection off Gary Cahill, and Foster also pulled off an excellent save from Celso Borges's free-kick midway through the half.

At the other end, England's best opportunities fell the way of Daniel Sturridge. First he curled an effort from the edge of the box narrowly wide, then he clamoured for a penalty having tumbled under the challenge of Oscar Duarte. Ten minutes before half time, he should have done better than head a corner over having created space for himself on the edge of the six-yard box.

Barkley was trying his best to create something out of nothing and a stumbling dribble three minutes before half time ended with a shot that flew high and wide of the goal.

England forced the first chance of the second half when a free-kick broke the way of Sturridge but the spin on the ball took it away from his control with just the keeper to beat. More terrific link-up play on the 65th minute saw Wilshere set Sturridge clear on the right of the box but his curled shot was inches wide of the far post.

Bizarrely, with Wilshere hobbling off it was Steven Gerrard who came off the bench, meaning a match that was seen as a glimpse into England's future now had the same central midfield pairing that featured in Euro 2004 - Gerrard and Lampard.

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