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Gareth Southgate 'incredibly proud' of England

by 15/11/2017 02:42:00 0 comments 1 Views

By Sami Mokbel for MailOnline

Published: 17:46 EST, 14 November 2017 | Updated: 02:42 EST, 15 November 2017

Gareth Southgate was full of praise for his brave young lions as debutant Dominic Solanke missed a golden chance to snatch a famous win against Brazil on Tuesday night.

England's fledgling side that included Joe Gomez, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Marcus Rashford were left chasing shadows for much of the prestige Wembley friendly.

But Liverpool striker Solanke, introduced as a second half substitute, squandered a glorious chance to win the game for Southgate’s men in the dying minutes.

Gareth Southgate embraced Eric Dier at the final whistle after England drew 0-0 with Brazil

Nevertheless, the result caps off a heartening few days for Southgate following Friday’s draw against world champions Germany.

‘In terms of heart, resilience and spirit it was up there with anything I’ve been involved in, said Southgate.

‘We couldn’t get hold of the ball and keep it. Tonight we just showed resilience, guts and some outstanding defending and I’m incredibly proud.

‘We had the best defensive record in Europe in qualifying and we’ve played the best two teams in the world and not conceded.

Joe Gomez (right) helped hold Neymar and Brazil to a goalless draw at Wembley on Tuesday
Joe Gomez (right) helped hold Neymar and Brazil to a goalless draw at Wembley on Tuesday

Joe Gomez (right) helped hold Neymar and Brazil to a goalless draw at Wembley on Tuesday

‘When you dig in you get half chances and we had them at the end and could have won the game. It’s a base to work from.’ 

Goalkeeper Joe Hart echoed his manager’s sentiments, saying: ‘We have played two of the best teams in the world, we didn’t win, but we didn’t lose.

‘This was a good trip for Joe Gomez, Dominic Solanke, Jordan Pickford - we want England to do well in the future and we always do our best.’ 

As revealed by MailOnline on Tuesday afternoon, Gomez was handed his first start for England against the Brazilians and produced an excellent display.

(R-L) Tammy Abraham, Dominic Solanke and Gomez all made debuts this international break
(R-L) Tammy Abraham, Dominic Solanke and Gomez all made debuts this international break

(R-L) Tammy Abraham, Dominic Solanke and Gomez all made debuts this international break

The Liverpool star, whose start will net former club Charlton Athletic £250,000 as part of the deal that took him to Anfield, has been one of the huge plusses for Southgate during the international break.

Following Southgate’s warning about shirt-swapping ahead of the clash, man of the match Gomez looked to be the only player to exchange jerseys. Ironically, the defender took club team-mate Philippe Coutinho’s top after the game.

But that didn’t stop Southgate from heaping praise on Gomez, saying: ‘His performance against top players was outstanding. It was a top performance.’ Hart added: ‘I thought the defensive backline were phenomenal. 

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was forced off with a back injury and was replaced by Jesse Lingard
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was forced off with a back injury and was replaced by Jesse Lingard

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was forced off with a back injury and was replaced by Jesse Lingard

'Joe (Gomez) played against one of the best players in the world and was excellent.' But on a sour note, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who performed so well against Germany on his debut last Friday, limped off towards the end of first-half with a back injury.

Brazil manager Tite said only one team tried to win the match, adding: ‘One team was playing with a high-line, pushing forward.

'The other team was more defensive and waiting for one counter attack or mistake to win the match.' 

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