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Pickford and Vlasic feature as England see off Croatia

Three Lions came from behind to avenge their World Cup semi-final defeat

England v Croatia - UEFA Nations League A
Pickford has been in excellent form for Everton lately
Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Marco Silva would certainly have been an intrigued spectator of proceedings at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, with two Everton players involved in England’s Nations League 2-1 win over Croatia.

After playing just the first half in Thursday’s 3-0 friendly victory against the USA, Jordan Pickford was between the sticks for the entire game against the Croats, whose line-up included Everton’s on-loan youngster Nikola Vlašić.

Vlašić, 21, was heavily involved in the opening goal, supplying the assist for Andrej Kramarić, who eventually fired past Pickford after struggling to find a way past a line of England defenders.

But his bright appearance would be cut short as Vlašić, spending the season with CSKA Moscow, was substituted with little more than 10 minutes remaining.

Pickford could hardly be blamed for Kramaric’s goal and, like Vlašić, delivered a relatively solid display throughout, again highlighting, particularly with a long ball to Marcus Rashford, what an asset his distribution is.

A Croatia win or a score draw would have been enough to relegate England, but thanks to late strikes from Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane, the Three Lions ended up top of their group.

Fellow Toffee Michael Keane enjoyed a clean sheet in his first international appearance for 13 months on Thursday, but was an unused substitute against Croatia.