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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Barkley Plays As England Bow Out

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Ross Barkley made his first World Cup start as England bowed out of Brazil with a 0-0 draw against Costa Rica.

Successive defeats to Italy and Uruguay meant the Three Lions already knew they would be unable to progress to the knockout stage before Tuesday's game.

And the goalless stalemate in Belo Horizonte gave Roy Hodgson's men their solitary point in Group D.

Everton's Academy graduate played the full 90 minutes as Roy Hodgson made nine changes to the side which lost to Uruguay, with Blues skipper Phil Jagielka an unused substitute.

And while the action was somewhat flat for the most part, Barkley showed glimpses of his growing talent on the biggest stage.

The game was one of few chances - the best two falling to Daniel Sturridge - but Barkley could have given England a 43rd-minute lead.

After good footwork by Jack Wilshere, the ball came to the 20-year-old who created space only to fire a fierce left-footed drive wide.

A booking 10 minutes into the second half did not affect his performance as the Three Lions looked to improve, but ultimately they were unable to find a way past arguably the tournament's surprise package.

Ross Barkley

Kevin Mirallas and Tim Howard are now Everton's sole representatives remaining in the competition.

Mirallas' Belgium have already sealed progression to the Round of 16, but will aim to clinch top spot on Thursday against South Korea.

And Howard's United States side can join them in qualifying via a number of scenarios from their game against Germany the same evening.

Keep an eye on evertonfc.com for updates on our Blues in Brazil.

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