England vs. Brazil: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
For the first time since 1990, England has beaten Brazil. The Three Lions took down El Selecao, 2-1, in an international friendly at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
That winless streak for England spanned eight matches, and it is now history.
England was the stronger side from the start. The Three Lions were aggressive and smart in the first half, and that prompted this tweet from the host of Premier League Football on BT Sport, Jack Humphrey:
BREAKING NEWS: The FA deny the rumour that England and Brazil swapped shirts BEFORE the match. #england— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) February 6, 2013
Despite the strong start, it looked like England was going to fall behind early when Ronaldinho lined up for a penalty in the 18th minute. He hit a relatively weak effort and Joe Hart made the save, and then made an even better save on the rebound. It proved to be one of the key moments of this match.
Then, in the 26th minute, England broke through with a nice goal from Wayne Rooney on a rebound effort.
Both sides missed some chances as the first half came to a close with England on top, 1-0.
Things got off to an ominous start for England in the second. In just the 47th minute, Gary Cahill turned the ball over just outside the keeper's box and Fred drilled a beauty for the equalizer.
Almost the exact same thing happened just two minutes later, but Fred bounced this effort off the crossbar.
The match appeared to be slipping away from England, but the Three Lions wrestled back momentum.
In the 59th minute, Frank Lampard, near the Brazil penalty area, hit a well-struck ball off the upright and crossbar for a 2-1 England lead.
England's defense tightened up after its suspect start to the second half, and although Brazil was on the attack late, they couldn't find the net.
Wayne Rooney: B
Wayne Rooney was solid if not spectacular in this match. He was in the right place at the right time for his first-half rebound opportunity, and he struck the ball well for the goal.
Jack Wilshere: A
Making his first start for England in almost two years, Jack Wilshere was outstanding.
His defense was solid, but it was when he had the ball that he really shined. He was pivotal in creating chances for England, and his passes were spot on.
Julio Cesar: A
This match would not have been as close if Julio Cesar did not turn in such a wonderful effort in goal.
There was nothing he could do on England's two goals, and he made four nice saves to continue what has been a great year for the keeper.
Neymar was playing with far more energy than effectiveness. He hit five shots, but only one was on target.
He also missed a sitter in the first half, one that you'd expect a player with his reputation to drill.
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