London - England beat Brazil 2-1 on Wednesday to end a 23-year wait for
victory over the five-time world champions and consign Luiz Felipe
Scolari to defeat in the first game of his second spell as Brazil coach.
a chilly Wembley night that saw Ashley Cole win his 100th England cap,
home goalkeeper Joe Hart saved an early penalty from the recalled
Ronaldinho, before Wayne Rooney put Roy Hodgson's side ahead.
error from Gary Cahill allowed half-time substitute Fred to equalise for
Brazil early in the second half, but Cahill's Chelsea team-mate Frank
Lampard gave England victory with a smartly taken goal on the hour.
friendly game was being played to mark the start of the Football
Association's 150th anniversary celebrations, and in Scolari's
disjointed Brazil, England found unexpectedly generous opponents.
men will now approach March's World Cup qualifiers against San Marino
and Montenegro in good heart, while Scolari must revisit his plans to
craft a side capable of winning a sixth world title on home soil in
Jack Wilshere started alongside England captain Steven
Gerrard in midfield for the first time and the Arsenal man was quick to
assert himself with an enterprising forward burst that drew applause
from the home fans.
However, the 21-year-old gifted Brazil an
opportunity to take the lead in the 19th minute when he allowed
Ronaldinho's cross to strike him on the arm.
Back in the side
after an absence of a year, Ronaldinho stepped forward to take the
penalty himself, but his weak shot was saved by Hart, who then reacted
sharply to claw the ball away as the thwarted taker closed in for the
England reacted positively to their close shave, with the
excellent Wilshere immediately slipping a pass through to Danny Welbeck,
who poked over.
Cole and Glen Johnson both had shots from
distance, before the hosts made the breakthrough with a goal that will
have greatly pleased Hodgson.
Wilshere was again the creator,
threading a fine pass between centre-back and full-back for Theo
Walcott, and when the Arsenal winger's shot was blocked by Julio Cesar,
Rooney steered the loose ball home to claim his 33rd England goal.
then spurned a glorious chance to level when he put the ball over from
close range as he slid in to meet a low cross from the lively Oscar.
big night ended at half-time, with Leighton Baines coming on in his
place, while Scolari elected to withdraw both Ronaldinho and the
ineffective Luis Fabiano.
Fabiano's replacement, Fred, needed just
three minutes to find the target, but the goal was presented to him on a
plate by the blundering Cahill.
Imperious until then, the Chelsea
centre-back over-ran the ball in a dangerous position and after Ramires
darted in, Fred capitalised to flash a left-foot shot past Hart from
the edge of the area.
Similar shaky England defending almost
yielded a second Brazil goal moments later, but after Hart's hurried
clearance struck Cahill and bounced away, Fred saw his attempted curler
hit the angle of post and bar.
Eager to atone, Cahill forced Cesar into a superb finger-tip save with a powerful header from a corner.
Brazil's defending was puzzlingly static at times and England took advantage to re-take the lead in the 60th minute.
one of several Walcott surges down the right, the ball popped out to
the edge of the area, and with Paulinho dawdling, Rooney stole in to tee
up Lampard, who scored with a first-time shot that went in off the
Neymar tried to enliven proceedings with an
audacious overhead kick that flew well over, before the now familiar
succession of substitutions drew the life from the game and allowed
England to see out a morale-boosting success.
International friendly results on Wednesday:Portugal 2 (Ronaldo 23, Postiga 60) Ecuador 3 (Valencia 3, Pereira 62-og, Caicedo 70)
France 1 (Valbuena 44) Germany 2 (Mueller 51, Khedira 74)
Republic of Ireland 2 (Clark 35, Hoolahan 76) Poland 0
Wales 2 (Bale 21, Vokes 52) Austria 1 (Janko 75)
Scotland 1 (Mulgrew 39) Estonia 0
Belgium 2 (Hazard 11-pen, Mertens 90) Slovakia 1 (Lasik 87)
Sweden 2 (J. Olsson 17, Elm 90+4) Argentina (Higuain 3, 23, Aguero 19)
England 2 (Rooney 27, Lampard 60) Brazil 1 (Fred 48)
Netherlands 1 (Lens 33) Italy 1 (Verratti 90+1)
Greece 0 Switzerland 0
Malta 0 Northern Ireland 0
Macedonia 3 (Pandev 8, Ibraimi 17, Noveski 24) Denmark 0
Turkey 0 Czech Republic 2 (Krejci 4, Lafata 28)
Israel 2 (Ben Passat 2, Refaelov 90) Finland 1 (Forsell 86)
Albania 1 (Bogdani 25) Georgia 2 (Vatsadze 41, Dzholchiev 82)
Hungary 1 (Szabics 33) Belarus 1 (Volodko 59)
Croatia 4 (Mandzukic 31, Srna 40, Jelavic 57, Petric 86) South Korea 0
Bosnia-Herzegovina 3 (Ibisevic 33, Pjanic 41, Svraka 80) Slovenia 0
Norway 0 Ukraine 2 (Morozyuk 17, Yarmolenko 42)
Spain 3 (Fabregas 16, Pedro Rodriguez 52, 75) Uruguay 1 (Rodriguez 32)