Brazil 1-0 England: Nilmar Tames Toothless Three Lions

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Brazil 1-0 England: Nilmar Tames Toothless Three Lions
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Brazil triumphed over England in the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha thanks to a header from Nilmar at the start of the second half.
Luis Fabiano squandered an opportunity to put his side two up by blazing his penalty over after England goalkeeper Ben Foster had brought down Nilmar.
England's chances in the first half were fleeting. Shaun Wright-Phillips put left-back Michel Bastos under pressure high up the field and managed to steal the ball, the Manchester City winger attacked the byline and whipped a quality cross into the penalty area. Captain for the night Wayne Rooney stretched but couldn't make contact with his right boot and the chance came to nothing.
Brazil had a chance to take the lead, as Nilmar attacked down the left flank. Matthew Upson came across and tried to shepherd the Brazilian out of play.

The West Ham United defender got it all wrong however and Nilmar broke into space, he entered the penalty area and tried to pull the ball back across the box. Joleon Lescott was on hand to clear the danger for the Three Lions.
The South Americans were growing in confidence and attacked down the left again, with Bastos threading a pass through to Luis Fabiano. Upson did well to get his body between the Sevilla forward and the ball and passed back to Foster in the England goal. Foster slipped as he cleared and the ball went straight to Kaka 30 yards from goal. Fortunately for England, the Real Madrid star couldn't control and the danger subsided.
Kaka combined brilliantly with Fabiano to tear the England backline apart in the 20th minute, playing the ball into his forward. Kaka continued his run as Fabiano controlled and back-heeled into his path. Only a last ditch challenge by Upson denied Kaka a one-on-one with Foster.
England responded with a good passage of play, this culminated with James Milner crossing into the box from the right wing with his left foot. The Aston Villa winger's delivery arched towards Darren Bent but it was a fraction too high for the Sunderland forward and his header looped harmlessly over the bar.
Brazil continued to attack and Fabiano found himself a pocket of space in the England penalty area. He retreated towards his own goal and attempted to play Elano in down the right channel. Wayne Bridge read the pass well and intervened, intercepting in his own box but conceded a needless corner. 
England cleared the corner but Felipe Melo engineered himself some space cleverly on the edge of the box and hit a curling strike through a crowd of bodies. His shot was aimed towards the bottom corner but Foster was positioned well and caught it comfortably.
The Three Lions should have had a free-kick just outside the penalty area. Bent combined well with Rooney to play the Manchester United striker in on the left edge of the area, but as he cut inside he was body checked by Thiago Silva. The referee looked to play advantage as Bent steamed forward and shot first time, but his strike was deflected wide for a corner.
Brazil took the lead with their first attack in the second half. Elano picked up the ball in the centre of midfield and floated a curling pass towards Nilmar in the penalty box. The Villarreal striker stole a yard on his marker and guided a looping header beyond the stranded Foster—1-0 to Brazil.
It went from bad to worse for England as Wes Brown tried to cushion the ball back to Foster with his chest. Nilmar stole in and dinked the ball away from the England keeper who swiftly brought the Brazilian down for a penalty. Foster was fortunate to only receive a yellow card for the challenge, and was rewarded further as Fabiano blazed over from the spot.
England were reeling and could have conceded a second as centre-back Lucio brought the ball forward and weaved his way through the England defence. He fed the ball to Elano who was in the right-hand side of the box. The ex-Manchester City midfielder cut back and drilled a shot across goal, but it was wayward and went well wide.
England ventured forward in the 70th minute. They attacked down the right and Wright-Phillips crossed towards Milner at the back post. The Aston Villa winger attempted a shot with his instep, side-footing a volley over the crossbar. Sadly this represented England's best chance so far.
Lucio unleashed a magnificent left-footed strike for Brazil. The right-footed defender picked the ball up on the edge of the box and smashed a shot towards the near post. Foster was at full stretch but it was the woodwork that denied the Brazilian a goal as his strike crashed off the keeper's left-hand post. 
England did manage to test Julio Cesar before the game was up, as Rooney shot from distance. It was straight at the Inter Milan keeper though, and he saved easily.
The Three Lions had a small flurry towards the end of the match, firing a couple of promising balls into the box. But substitutes Jermaine Defoe and Peter Crouch failed to capitalise.

This article was first published on Goal.com
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