Football

Penalty hero back out training in rain after 6.30 return

Penalty hero Marcus Rashford trained with England’s back-ups the day after helping Gareth Southgate’s men to a memorable shootout win against Colombia.

Tuesday’s last-16 match against the South Americans went all the way in Moscow, but the Three Lions managed to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final against Sweden as they overcame their Achilles heel. Shall we not talk about the past now please?

Preparations got under way with earnest for Saturday’s clash in Samara on Wednesday afternoon despite the group’s lack of sleep, having returned to their Repino base at around 6.30am.

Rashford was the only player to feature against Colombia that trained in the pouring rain at Spartak Zelenogorsk, where he was part of an eight-strong playing group outnumbered by staff.

The 20-year-old forward was brought on late in extra-time and was not deemed to have done enough to warrant a normal recovery session, which the other players did back at the team hotel.

There were also a number of injuries being assessed at the ForRestMix Club.

Southgate likened the scene in the dressing room on Tuesday night to “a scene from M*A*S*H*”.

Jamie Vardy’s groin issue is among the knocks being looked at by England’s medical staff, although the severity is not expected to become clear until Thursday.

Vardy is a doubt for England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden with a groin strain.

The 31-year-old made an impressive impact as an 88th-minute substitute in the last-16 clash against Colombia on Tuesday but was conspicuous by his absence from the five spot-kick takers.

Vardy had an injection after the match and will now be sweating for his place in Saturday’s quarter-final against the Swedes in Samara.


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