Brazil, England ignite Maracana
03 June 2013, 10:18
Maracana - Brazil's indifferent run continued when a brilliantly taken late goal
from midfielder Paulinho scrambled a 2-2 friendly draw at home to
England in the match which re-opened the Maracana stadium on Sunday.
Paulinho volleyed home with eight minutes to go, three minutes after
Wayne Rooney had stunned the crowd by giving England the lead on their
first visit to Brazil since their famous win at the old version of the
stadium in 1984.
Fred put Brazil ahead in the 57th minute and teenage substitute Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain, on the pitch for only five minutes, scored a superb
equaliser for England 10 minutes later.
The 2014 World Cup hosts have won only one out of six games since Luiz
Felipe Scolari, who led them to their fifth world title in 2002, took
over for a second stint in charge in November. Four of those games have
England spent the first half on the back foot and were indebted to
goalkeeper Joe Hart for keeping the score goalless at halftime.
Hart saved from Neymar at point-blank range after the new Barcelona
frontman was picked out by a long crossfield pass, then blocked a Hulk
effort with his legs and dived at the feet of Neymar.
The goalkeeper then had to parry a low Oscar shot before Hulk nearly
opened the scoring with a clever near-post flick from Oscar's low cross.
England's first real chance came after 40 minutes when Glen Johnson's
incisive pass found Theo Walcott, who fired straight at Julio Cesar from
a difficult angle.
Brazil broke the deadlock when Hernanes hit the crossbar and Fred fired
in the rebound, scoring for his fifth successive international.
Oxlade-Chamberlain levelled with a shot from outside the area before
Rooney, who had just missed a chance by heading wide, stunned an already
impatient crowd by scoring with a looping shot from just outside the
Brazil were facing their first home defeat since 2002 until Paulinho came to the rescue.