June 26, 2019, 16:08

Harry Kane says England coped well with ‘strange’ atmopshere during goalless draw with Croatia

Harry Kane says England coped well with ‘strange’ atmopshere during goalless draw with Croatia


Harry Kane says England were not clinical enough in their Nations League draw with Croatia and admits it was a strange playing in an empty stadium

Harry Kane thought England coped well with what he described as a “strange” atmosphere during the goalless draw with Croatia at the Stadion HNK Rijeka in the Nations League.

Croatia 0-0 England – Match Report

Just 93 days after England lost to Zlatko Dalic’s men in the World Cup semi-finals, the countries met in surroundings that could scarcely have been more different to July’s huge encounter at the packed Luzhniki.

The virtually-empty Stadion HNK Rijeka hosted England’s first-ever match behind closed doors as Croatia completed a ground ban imposed by UEFA for having a swastika on the pitch during a Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy.

Kane hopes it’s an experience England’s players don’t have to go through again in the near future.


Highlights of England's trip to Croatia in the UEFA Nations League Group A

“It was strange playing with no fans but I felt we dealt with the atmosphere well and I thought we played well,” Kane told Sky Sports.

“Hopefully it’s something we don’t have to experience too many times in our careers.

“The first half was probably even but in the second half we really came into it and, had we been more clinical, we would probably have won the game.”

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There were a handful of England fans who made the trip to Rijeka and they did get a view of the game.

Perched on a hill alongside the stadium in a desperate bid to catch a glimpse, their endeavour was not reciprocated on the pitch as the eerie conditions took their toll on both sets of players.


England's Eric Dier admitted it was a strange experience playing their UEFA Nations League match with Croatia behind closed doors

Speaking after the game, Eric Dier told Sky Sports: “It was strange, I think it was the first experience of it (playing behind closed doors) for all of us.

“It was a strange atmosphere, although there were a couple of England fans up on the hill, but once the game started it went to the back of our minds, actually.”

Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell made his full senior debut in Rijeka, impressing on the left side of Gareth Southgate’s defence.


David Jones, Jamie Carragher, Emile Heskey and Alex Scott reflect on the impressive England debuts made by Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Leicester's Ben Chilwell in their stalemate with Croatia

The 21-year-old said it was an odd experience not having his family in the stadium to see his full England debut.

“It’s a massive day for me and my family, but it was about having a good game and doing well for the team, ” Chilwell told Sky Sports.

“You’d like your family to be here, of course, but I’m sure they’ll all have been watching on TV and they will get to see the highlights. It would be nice if they were here but it’s part and parcel of it.

“It was strange, out on the pitch with the national anthem in an empty stadium, but you get on with it and do your best for the team.”

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