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England’s rookies impress

ReutersLONDON (Reuters) — England held world champion Germany to a 0-0 draw after giving debuts to five players as their inexperienced team came through a first-half lesson to hold their own in a lively Wembley friendly on Friday.

With a host of established players missing, England’s callow defense was routinely sliced open in the first period and they needed debutant goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to keep Germany at bay.

But England also had some bright moments, with midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek making an assured debut and having great chances at the start and end of the match.

England manager Gareth Southgate, shorn of more than half his likely first-choice side, was pleased with much that he saw, despite the result leaving England still searching for their first home win over their old rivals since 1975.

“In the first half, we needed a couple of really good saves from Jordan Pickford — we caused our own problems with a couple of those. But we posed our own questions and I thought we used the ball well,” Southgate told ITV.

“Ruben Loftus-Cheek did everything I know he can do. It took him 10 minutes to realize he is OK at this level. He is capable of anything. He has the physical attributes and can handle the ball. He will gain huge confidence from it. There will be harder tests as the likes of Germany will have another gear to go to.”

Germany were also in somewhat experimental mode and their coach Joachim Loew will have been delighted in particular with an impressive display by Leroy Sane as his team stretched their unbeaten run to 20 games since losing to France in the Euro 2016 semifinals.Speech

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