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Croatia 0-0 England: the game that & # 39; creepy & # 39; and all a bit odd & # 39; became

Croatia 0-0 England: the game that & # 39; creepy & # 39; and all a bit odd & # 39; became

Can you please let me in?

It was a game like no other.

England watched Croatia in Rijeka behind closed doors, describing the goalless draw by the players as "weird" and "strange".

Sometimes events bordered on farcic.

We look at some of the particularly unique elements of a game played for an official rise of zero – and hearing people inside and outside the ground.

A program – but who buys it?

Football memorabilia are big business online – and this program will certainly be a collector's item.

The Croatian FA continued to publish a guide to the competition, well aware that there would be no fans around the world to actually buy it.

& # 39; The PA presenter could have taken the night off & # 39;

"In goal for England, number one Jordan Pickford."

The person who announces the line-ups before the kick-off usually does this to awaken the crowd, but who was the man in Rijeka who tried to get up?

The former English captain Terry Butcher said on BBC Radio 5 live: "There has been a PA announcer when reading the teams, I do not know why, we all have team magazines and there is no one here to read the teams. have free night. & # 39;

Sing the national anthem if everyone can hear you

The sound when the players entered the field in Rijeka was deafening, but only because the music on the loudspeaker system was being cranked so loudly.

With the players in line and only playing the band, you could clearly hear members of every team that released their respective songs.

England full-back Ben Chilwell made his full debut in England and said to Sky Sports: "It was weird if you sang the national anthem in an empty stadium.

We all knew it would be a weird environment, you should sing the national anthem, no matter how bad you are. & # 39;

In the hills, on a roof – fans find a way

Some fans found space on a hill to watch the game
Another one on one roof
And more in an apartment building

While the official attendance was marked as zero, there were still some fans who got a taste of the game.

Some in a nearby block of flats got a good view when they were high, while England's supporters had found a vantage point on a hill.

At one point they were heard, "Pickford, Pickford gave us a wave" – ​​and there was loud cheers when the goalkeeper was obliged.

Although manager Gareth Southgate did cool afterwards by saying that he concentrated on the game, midfielder Eric Dier said with a grin that they could be "easily" heard as "they were the only ones here".

The flight attendant monitors an empty stand

This man had a heavy night

Stewards had to take care of the entire tribune themselves. Mind you, it is not difficult when all seats are empty.

Slap blow, beep beep

At some point in the game, it became so quiet that you could hear the beeping as a truck reverses, as well as clicking a photographer taking pictures.

BBC Radio 5 live producer Gary Flintoff also commented: "England manager Gareth Southgate has just praised his players and you could hear the sound of his hands ringing through the entire stadium, just about summarized it."

1,048 miles – only 10 meters short

BBC Sport & # 39; s Sam Bryant spent the day with English fans in Rijeka.

The dedication shown by some English fans is remarkable – 1048 miles for a game Uefa said no fans would be allowed. But there was determination to enjoy the day and at least catch a glimpse of the field.

After enjoying the sunny city center for an afternoon, attention was focused on getting the ground closer.

Stadion HNK Rijeka was about four miles from the harbor and by the early evening a handful of supporters from Three Lions gathered in a nearby bar.

Two hours before the kick-off it is time to explore the nearby hills. Forty-five minutes of winding roads later and a few distant glances from the field was all that could be managed.

Requests to the locals to watch from their balconies proved fruitless for the supporters I was with.

After a second hour of walking, the fans reached the backlog of one of the stands, but the police stopped everyone who went further. 1,048 miles, minus 10 meters.

This was as far as some fans from England have

Back to the bar it was. In the glare of the spotlight, but limited to a TV screen like the fans at home.

At rest, rejuvenated, a second attempt. This time a few fans were lucky. One road led to a rocky hill behind one of the targets and half of the field was visible from there. This would certainly do. Local police were there and welcomed English fans to watch.

The atmosphere was pleasant and at the end of the match fans were led back to the local taxi's.

Despite the score, the miles were worth it for these fans. Why? Because that's what they do. Where England plays, fans will follow. See your friends, look at your country, have fun.

Handshakes everywhere, to Spain.

& # 39; Consolation for the fans? They have not missed much & # 39;

Jordan Henderson – the loudest voice in the English team

Head writer of BBC Sport Phil McNulty was one of the few lucky ones who was admitted in the stadium.

This was an occasion that had an almost morbid fascination in a sporting context.

Playing England in Croatia should be an important event and yet the ride to the hills outside Rijeka did not see any traffic, no supporters and passport control at security to prevent fans from disguising themselves as members of the media.

The whole evening was shrouded in an unreality that even made a report about the occasional bizarre experience.

Sometimes a lookup from a laptop is motivated by a roar from the crowd – this time it was due to an increased voice on the pitch or an increase in the noise level of the players.

There were interesting notes, such as how much quieter the players of Croatia were than those of England and how Jordan Henderson is the loudest voice in the Gareth Southgate team.

There was even a laughter of the one guilty in the scarce crowd when Marcus Rashford made a miserably tame attempt to put England first.

Moments of quality – and they were very rare – were greeted with polite applause instead of roaring approval because virtually everyone in the stadium was part of the media operation or were dignitaries, sponsors or stewards.

There was Raheem Sterling who picked up a booking to carry the ball and play as soon as the game was stopped – he could hardly use the whistle of the referee as an excuse.

It was an occasion that perhaps got the match it deserved and the final whistle was blown to a background of silence.

If there was any consolation for those fans who wanted to be in this stadium in Rijeka, it is that they did not miss much.