One England fan tried to sneak into the empty stadium to watch the Croatia game

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One word to describe England's 0-0 draw to Croatia on Friday evening: bizarre.

Boring would also be an accurate way to sum up the stalemate as the players played in an empty stadium due to controversy dating back to 2015.

Every player could be heard clearly on the pitch and it was more like watching a training session, or a game of FIFA, than a UEFA Nations League match.

Harry Kane and Marcus Rashford both came close for England on what was a dodgy playing surface while Croatia had a few decent chances of their own.

And that was about it. Gareth Southgate, though, still managed to find positives from the game and felt his side should have won.

"We were a real threat," said the England boss. "The most important thing for the team is we create chances, look dangerous, and I have faith the players who didn't score will score.

"This feels like a game we should have won but I was really pleased with the way we played. We dictated the flow for a long period.


"I couldn't ask for more from the players. We just have to make sure we finish the chances. On another day, we will.

"It wasn't an easy pitch, either, especially in the final third with people slipping and the ball bouncing up at the wrong moment.

Croatia v England - UEFA Nations League A

"But good teams adapt. Good teams, whatever the circumstances or the atmosphere or the pitch, find a way of playing. I was pleased the players did that."

Playing behind closed doors must have been strange for the players, but there were a few brave England supporters who turned up despite not being allowed into the stadium.

Chants could be heard from the set of England fans who had perched themselves on a nearby hill that was high enough to see the game.

However, according to Henry Winter (see below), there was one fan who tried to get into the stadium by pretending to be a steward. No, really.

As can probably guess the plan failed, but top marks to the fan for creativity and it makes for a pretty hilarious story.

Luckily there will be plenty of support and noise when England take on Spain during Monday's clash at the Benito Villamarin Stadium.

Marcus Rashford
Harry Kane
England Football
Premier League

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