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Costa Rica 0 England 0: Hodgson's men beat a quiet retreat from carnival

England departed the World Cup last night.

They did so quietly, with a goalless draw against Costa Rica delivered by a side which had come to terms with their exit from the tournament and quite disinclined to make a big thing about it. Roy Hodgson's side finished bottom of Group D and did so on merit.

There will be a post mortem, of course - England's television pundits held an on-air wake after that defeat by Uruguay, after all - but at least in Brazil their national team could seek shelter in indifference. There was a brief volley of impertinence from the Costa Rican support as they chanted "eliminado" at their counterparts, but it seemed good natured and ceased at the final whistle.

The Central Americans had little cause to upset anyone unduly. They had made their mark on the group already and, as leaders, could afford to spend their final group match with their minds in the last 16. Their repose was interrupted only on occasion - when England goalkeeper Ben Foster tipped Celso Borges' free-kick on to the crossbar, or when Oscar Duerte felled Daniel Sturridge clumsily in the penalty area during the first half. It was a foul, but it went unpunished.

England can instead reflect that his World Cup has taken up the habit of giving them a bit of a kicking; a bold performance against Italy ending in defeat, while the return to fitness of Luis Suarez coincided with confirmation they would not be among the last 16. That had left them with the prospect only of a low-key finale and the promise of a frustrating end to their ambitions.

There was agitation too for the introduction of Wayne Rooney from the bench. The forward had arrived in Brazil with some supporters remarking openly that he no longer warrants a starting berth but he at least finished the campaign in demand at Belo Horizonte. Rooney was duly introduced with all of 15 minutes left to play against Costa Rica and spent them trying to chip the goalkeeper from long range and also missing the target.

England missed their mark too. They left these World Cup finals behind last night.

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Football

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