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Alli features in Young Lions defeat

5 March 2014

Dele Alli came off the bench for England Under-18s on Tuesday afternoon but couldn’t prevent them suffering a 2-1 defeat to Croatia.

The young midfielder was brought on by manager Neil Dewsnip in the 72nd minute of the friendly, as the Young Lions were beaten 2-1 by the Croatians for the second time in three days at St. George’s Park.

Just like on Monday, England took a deserved a lead inside the first-half although it was Tottenham Hotspur forward Emmanuel Sonupe who got the goal this time, reacting quickest after Jermaine Anderson’s shot was parried by the Croatian ‘keeper.

It was nothing less than Dewsnip’s side deserved but almost instantly Croatia equalised courtesy of their striker Fran Brodic, who beat both Bryn Morris and ‘keeper Charlie Grainger to a chipped ball forward before slotting home.

Croatia then completed the clean-sweep when NK Osijek’s Karlo Lulic found the far corner of the net on 73 minutes.

Alli will now return to Milton Keynes ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League 1 clash with Swindon Town.

Meanwhile, Ben Reeves was an unused substitute in Northern Ireland's goalless draw with Cyprus in Nicosia. The midfielder watched from the bench as Michael O'Neill's side were frustrated by the Cypriots in their first friendly of 2014. Reeves would have made his international debut if he'd have featured.

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