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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 been draws.

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 area.

Brazil were facing their first home defeat since 2002 until Paulinho came to the rescue.

- Reuters


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