WITH the nation waiting to embrace the World Cup in two weeks’ time, stars from England C have been on a different international mission.

Salisbury City’s Elliott Frear, pictured, was amid the non-league Three Lions striving towards victory in their International Challenge Trophy (ICT) group opener with Slovakia under 23s.

But their hard work in Poprad was undone in the 81st minute when the hosts’ only goal condemned England to a cruel 1-0 defeat on Saturday.

Paul Fairclough’s outfit must now go to Turkey in October and win if they are to keep their ICT hopes alive.

“We could not have done any more, obviously scoring a goal would be helpful, but I could go through the whole squad and every single player had an outstanding performance,” he said.

“Obviously the outcome means we’ve got to go and win in Turkey and we’ve got to go and win against Estonia.”

Frear, who is yet to agree a new deal at Old Sarum, was joined by teammate Angus MacDonald for the tour where they also took on Sparta Prague B and Hungary in friendlies. In the latter match, the winger assisted England C's two goals during their 4-2 defeat on Tuesday.

England C V Slovakia (4-3-3): Walker; Yiadom, Roberts, Franks, Demetriou, Bradley (Marwood 86), Payne, Pearson, (Gallagher 80), Marsh-Brown (Maddison 70), Norwood (Taylor 86), Frear (Fitzpatrick 90).