England 2 Costa Rica 0: Marcus Rashford’s stunning strike sends Three Lions off to World Cup in style

MARCUS RASHFORD staked his claim for a World Cup starting place with a stunner at Elland Road.

The England forward scored the opener after 13 minutes with a dipping drive that found the top corner past Keylor Navas.

 Marcus Rashford lets fly as he opens the scoring for England with a brilliant early goal

Richard Pelham
Marcus Rashford lets fly as he opens the scoring for England with a brilliant early goal
 Rashford is mobbed by his England team-mates after his stunning goal fired them ahead at Elland Road

Richard Pelham
Rashford is mobbed by his England team-mates after his stunning goal fired them ahead at Elland Road
 Danny Welbeck came off the bench to score a diving header as England sealed a comfortable win over Costa Rica

Reuters
Danny Welbeck came off the bench to score a diving header as England sealed a comfortable win over Costa Rica

Danny Welbeck's diving header meant Gareth Southgate's side head to Russia with another win under their belts.

And Rashford's fearless display running at the Costa Ricans will give the England boss plenty to think about ahead of picking his team for the opening clash against Tunisia.

Until now it has seemed probable that the Manchester United striker would have to settle for a place on the bench.

But Southgate will now have some thinking to do after the 20-year-old delivered a lively display that suggests he is going into the tournament at the peak of his game.

 Trent Alexander-Arnold whips in a cross as he impressed on his senior debut for England

Richard Pelham
Trent Alexander-Arnold whips in a cross as he impressed on his senior debut for England

Fabian Delph also impressed in midfield in a team that included 10 changes from the weekend victory against Nigeria.

Trent Alexander-Arnold made his debut from the start, while Nick Pope came off the bench for his first cap as Southgate made sure players were given a run-out before boarding the plane to their base in Repino, near St Petersburg, on Tuesday.

Jamie Vardy had a close-range effort bravely saved by Real Madrid keeper Navas.
Jordan Henderson, skipper for the evening, also forced a save with a powerful volley.

At the other end, Jack Butland had little to do but dealt with a Johan Venegas drive well.

Welbeck came off the bench and netted with a diving header from Dele Alli's cross as England ensured they got the result their performance deserved.

Rashford said: "You can work on them in training every day, so it's great for one to come off in the game. I'm happy with the way the game has gone.

 Keylor Navas makes a brave stop to deny Jamie Vardy from doubling the lead for England

Richard Pelham
Keylor Navas makes a brave stop to deny Jamie Vardy from doubling the lead for England
 Danny Welbeck celebrates his goal as England finished their preparations for Russia 2018 in style

Richard Pelham
Danny Welbeck celebrates his goal as England finished their preparations for Russia 2018 in style

 

"I just tried to play free and enjoy myself, and I guess that is probably my best performance for England.

"It means a lot just to be in the squad, but going there and hopefully play a major part is my main aim.

"If everyone goes out there with the same attitude and frame of mind then we could go a long way."

 

MARCUS RASHFORD staked his claim for a World Cup starting place with a stunner at Elland Road.