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England bow out with Costa Rica stalemate

Costa Rica 0-0 England
A goalless draw in Belo Horizonte meant Roy Hodgson's team bowed out with a single point and ensured their opponents finished top of Group D.

Costa Rica 0-0 England: the story in photos ©Getty Images

England's FIFA World Cup campaign ended with a goalless draw against Costa Rica at the Estadio Mineirão, the result ensuring the Central American side progressed to the round of 16 as Group D winners.

Already eliminated ahead of the match in Belo Horizonte, having lost to both Italy and Uruguay, England threatened sporadically throughout the first half with Daniel Sturridge particularly dangerous – although the closest anyone came to a goal was a Celso Borges free-kick against the crossbar. Costa Rica were already destined for the last 16, having won their first two fixtures, but it was Roy Hodgson's side who continued to show the greater initiative in the second period, Sturridge curling their best opening narrowly wide as they had to settle for a draw.

England had looked the likelier scorers from the outset, Sturridge curling a metre wide in the 12th minute after an incisive Jack Wilshere burst. The Liverpool FC striker next sent an audacious lob wide of the target from 30 metres out, before Costa Rica served notice of their own threat with Borges' expert free-kick; a faint but crucial touch from Ben Foster in the England goal helped the ball on to the crossbar and over.

Ten minutes before half-time, England came again, once more through Sturridge. Ross Barkley's deep left-wing corner was headed back across goal by Phil Jones, finding the No9 with time and space, but the forward was unable to keep his header down.

Sturridge was certainly England's most obvious source of a goal, and when he played a one-two with Wilshere to burst in on goal just past the hour, it looked as if the moment had arrived. With Keylor Navas closing in, the shot was curled centimetres wide of the goalkeeper's right-hand post.

Hodgson introduced Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney in the final 20 minutes as he sought to avoid a first winless World Cup campaign since 1958, and the latter forced a backpedalling Navas to tip over his chip with time running out. That proved to be England's last genuine chance, the final whistle bringing down the curtain on their time in Brazil.