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England's Pope Caps Rise To The Top

Clarets goalkeeper makes England debut in pre-World Cup win over Costa Rica

7 June 2018

Nick Pope will go to the World Cup Finals as an England international after winning his first cap for his country.

The Clarets’ goalkeeper came on as a 65th-minute substitute as England beat Costa Rica 2-0 at Elland Road in their final warm-up game ahead of the tournament in Russia.

Pope, 26, became Burnley’s 29th England international and the third member of Sean Dyche’s squad – after Jack Cork and James Tarkowski -  to make an England debut this season.

Nick Pope replaced Stoke City's Jack Butland in goal as England won 2-0

Pope was never seriously tested as Gareth Southgate’s side completed their preparations ahead of their departure to Russia with a routine win over the Costa Ricans, who have also qualified for the finals, with goals from Marcus Rashford and Danny Welbeck.

But the 26-year-old handled the occasion perfectly, making one save and looking assured in everything he was called on to do as he continued a remarkable rise to the top at the end of a domestic season which saw him emerge onto the Premier League stage as a key performer for the Clarets.

Pope, who kept 12 clean sheets following a top-flight debut last September, follows in the footsteps of Burnley team-mate Tom Heaton in becoming a full England international and will now head to Russia as part of a 23-man squad carrying the hopes of a nation.

England played their opening game in Group G against Tunisia on Monday, 18 June.

Meanwhile, Burnley winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson played the full game as Iceland ended their preparations for a first World Cup appearance with a 2-2 draw against Ghana in Reykjavic.

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