Brazil 2-2 England: Paulinho denies England win

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain celebrates his equalising goal. Picture: Getty

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain celebrates his equalising goal. Picture: Getty

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Paulinho’s late strike denied England a famous victory in the refurbished Maracana as Roy Hodgson’s men regained some pride following a difficult week for the national side.

Scorers: Brazil - Fred (57), Paulinho (82); England - Oxlade-Chamberlain (67), Rooney (79)

Neymar tries to evade Michael Carrick. Picture: Getty

Neymar tries to evade Michael Carrick. Picture: Getty

Bookings: Brazil - Hulk; England - Jones

Joe Hart performed brilliantly to keep the game goalless at half-time, but Fred put Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men ahead after the break. Brazil eased off and England moved 2-1 ahead thanks to goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wayne Rooney, but Paulinho struck eight minutes from time to level the first game at the world-famous Maracana since its £300million redevelopment.

Phil Jones made his first England start in over a year as Roy Hodgson’s depleted squad set about the huge task of beating Brazil on a historic night.

The Manchester United man was expected to sit deep in midfield alongside Michael Carrick in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

James Milner replaced the injured Daniel Sturridge, while Hodgson drafted in Leighton Baines for Ashley Cole at left-back.

Luiz Felipe Scolari included QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar, plus Chelsea’s David Luiz and Oscar in the Brazil starting XI.

Neymar, who will move to Barcelona tomorrow, lined up in attack alongside Fred, who scored the Selecao’s only goal in their 2-1 defeat against the Three Lions at Wembley in February. After the recent flak that had come his squad’s way, this was the perfect opportunity for 
Hodgson’s men to prove that they have the mettle to compete with the best teams on the planet.

Amid a booming atmosphere inside the world-famous stadium – which was surprisingly not full – England started comfortably but Brazil did have an early chance through Neymar, whose shot was blocked by Baines.

Michael Carrick’s foul on Oscar gave Neymar another opportunity, but he curled his free-kick straight in to Joe Hart’s arms. Brazil edged the first 20 minutes, dominating possession, but their final product was often poor.

The home crowd started to get annoyed, but Dani Alves lifted them with a 30-yard drive which flew just past Hart’s right-hand post.

Theo Walcott, starting on the right wing, looked the most dangerous England player, but he was easily dispossessed during two runs at the home defence.

Glen Johnson then made a mess of clearing a simple long diagonal pass, but Hart was equal to Neymar’s close-range shot.

Neymar found space on the edge of the England box in the 22nd minute and curled a wicked shot that slipped just wide. Oscar then gained a yard at the byline and played a low ball across the box that Fred, Neymar and Johnson all somehow missed.

England won their first corner in the 26th minute, but it was easily cleared and Brazil were soon back on the attack. Hart did well to stop Neymar and Luis Filipe in quick succession and the Manchester City stopper had to scramble across 
his line to save from another Alves long-ranger.

With half-an-hour gone Cole came on for Baines, who appeared to have 
suffered an injury. England’s first attempt on goal came in the 35th minute, but Rooney’s shot was blocked by Luiz. Brazil thought they should have had a penalty when Frank Lampard tripped Oscar, but the referee waved play on.

Julio Cesar then made his first save of the game from Walcott, who slipped in to the box following a clever reverse pass from Johnson. Lampard then tested the Brazil keeper as England ended the half slightly better.

Scolari brought on Hernanes and Marcelo for Luis Filipe and Luis Gustavo at half-time. Boos then rang out following Scolari’s decision to replace Oscar with Lucas Moura.

The home crowd’s anxiety lifted in the 58th minute, however, when Fred put Brazil ahead. Hernanes curled a wonderful shot that beat Hart but bounced out to Fred and he did not miss from 
10 yards out.

Brazil grew in confidence. Neymar scooped the ball over the top of the England back four, Hulk looked for a penalty after clashing with Johnson but he did not get it.

The former Porto striker was then booked for a foul on Carrick. Hodgson made an attacking substitution, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming on for Johnson.

England missed a superb chance to equalise in the 65th minute when 
Rooney put a free header wide, but Oxlade-Chamberlain did not miss just 
moments later.

Less than six minutes after his introduction, the Arsenal winger received the ball from Rooney 25 yards out and he drilled a low shot beyond a diving Julio Cesar, leading to raucous scenes among the group of England fans inside the 
Maracana.

More boos greeted Scolari’s fourth substitution that saw Hulk replaced by Fernando. It was England who were now on the front foot. Thiago Silva put in a crucial block to deny Milner with 18 minutes left. Then, despite being battered for most of the match, England took the lead. Milner raced down the left and squared for Rooney, who curled a shot over Cesar via a big deflection off Fernando.

The travelling support went wild, but their celebrations lasted just over three minutes. Lucas Moura put in a good cross for Paulinho and he fired past Hart from 15 yards with eight minutes left. Three minutes of added time came and went before the referee called time on what was ultimately an encouraging result for Hodgson’s men.

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Luiz, Marcelo, Paulinho, Fernando, Oscar, Lucas Moura, Neymar, Fred. Subs: Cassio, Gustavo, Ronaldinho, Ramires, Miranda, Leandro Damiao, Luis Fabiano. .

England: Hart, Johnson, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines, Jones, Carrick, Lampard, Walcott, Rooney, Milner. Subs: Foster, Cole, Lescott, Rodwell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Defoe, McCarthy.

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