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England and Croatia share opening spoils

Croatia and England played out a 1-1 draw in their opening UEFA European Under-19 Championship Group B match at the Kadriorg Stadium in Tallin.

Although Croatia looked to have seized the initiative through Domagoj Pavičić’s goal after 57 minutes, England were level on the hour thanks to Nathaniel Chalaboah. Neither side was able to find a winner, with goalkeepers Sam Johnstone and Simon Sluga both pulling off a number of fine saves.

Croatia were the better side in the first half and spurned three clear openings to score. Danijel Miškić was one of the main culprits, twice finding sufficient space in the England penalty area to shoot only to be denied by Johnstone on each occasion. The England No1 was the hero once again five minutes before half-time when he denied Marko Dugandžić.

Noel Blake’s team had been restricted to headers from Ross Barkley and Harry Kane in the opening period but were far brighter after the interval. Barkley hit the post from 20 metres on 48 minutes, before Benik Afobe was thwarted by Sluga with only the keeper to beat. Croatia, though, rode the storm and then took the lead thanks to Pavičić’s shot from outside the penalty area.

Dinko Jeličić’s side could have doubled their advantage a minute later but Ivan Aleksić could not find a way past Johnstone. England soon made the most of that reprieve when Chalaboah unleashed a fine strike into the corner.

Source Article from http://www.uefa.com/under19/season=2012/matches/round=2000210/match=2010334/postmatch/report/index.html?rss=1834709+England+and+Croatia+share+opening+spoils

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