England recorded their first win over Brazil since 1990 with an assured 2-1 victory in a friendly at Wembley on Wednesday.
Ronaldinho had a chance to open the scoring in his unofficial 100th appearance for Brazil but was denied from the penalty spot by Joe Hart in the 19th minute.
Eight minutes later, Wayne Rooney showed the 32-year-old how to finish, striking a loose ball into the back of the net after a good save by Julio Cesar.
Substitute Fred equalised swiftly after half-time before one of Roy Hodgson’s own introductions, Frank Lampard, smashed England back into the lead.
Ashley Cole became only England’s seventh centurion, picked to start for the 100th time.
Brazil started the match confidently, with Neymar threatening in behind, but it was England who came closest to opening the scoring, with Rooney’s header producing a stunning reflex save from Cesar.
In the 16th minute, veteran Ronaldinho’s cross smashed into the arm of Jack Wilshere and the 32-year-old stepped up to take the penalty but was denied by the strong wrists of Hart.
The England goalkeeper palmed the ball away a second time as Ronaldinho looked to pounce on the rebound before Tom Cleverley completed the clearance with a risky challenge on Neymar.
Wilshere made amends for his error shortly afterwards, playing a delicate through ball for Arsenal team-mate Theo Walcott.
The winger’s shot was saved by Cesar but fell to Rooney on the edge of the box, who calmly passed the ball between a group of Brazilians to open the scoring.
Brazil should have been level before the break, with Oscar whipping an inch-perfect cross towards the back post which Neymar somehow conspired to prod over the bar from two yards.
Paulinho then had an overhead kick cleared off the line by Glen Johnson.
Just three minutes after the restart, England lost their lead.
Gary Cahill overran the ball deep in his own half, and Fred picked up a loose ball, took a touch and buried his left-footed shot into the top corner.
Seconds later, Hart’s heavy pass bounced off Cahill and fell to the feet of Oscar and the Chelsea star cushioned the ball to Fred, whose curling effort from the edge of the box clipped the top of the crossbar.
But then it was England’s chance to capitalise on an error.
Arouca’s wayward pass found Rooney and the Manchester United star played a pass into Lampard, who powered an effort past Cesar and in off the post from outside the area.
The flow of the match was stifled as both sides made several substitutions but England – limiting Brazil to just a handful of optimistic shots from range – hung on to claim a morale-boosting victory.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!