ENGLAND 2, BRAZIL 1
England’s Mancunian contingent played a starring role helping England make the perfect start to the Football Association’s 150th anniversary celebrations with victory against five times World Cup winners Brazil at Wembley.
It was a night to remember for England, who have a series of prestigious friendlies lined up in 2013, as this was only their fourth-ever win against Brazil from 24 meetings, their last success recorded in 1990.
And it was the first time England had inflicted a defeat on a team managed by Luiz Felipe Scolari at their fourth attempt – he had previously beaten them once with Brazil and twice while in charge of Portugal.
City’s Joe Hart saved a penalty from Ronaldinho to ruin the striker’s night on his 100th international appearance.
Wayne Rooney, from the red half of the city, scored his 33rd international goal to give England a first-half lead.
Sadly a mistake from former Bolton Wanderers’ centre-back Gary Cahill led to Brazil’s equaliser from striker substitute Fred, but substitute Frank Lampard scored the match-winning goal for England.
Manchester provided five of England’s starting line up – United’s Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Chris Smalling while Hart was from City who also provided Joleon Lescott and James Milner on the bench.
England would have fallen behind in the 18th minute but for Hart’s brilliant penalty stop to deny Ronaldinho after Jack Wilshere was punished for handball.
Rooney broke the deadlock in the 27th minute after a fabulous England move.
Wilshere’s slide-rule pass split the Brazilian defence for Theo Walcott to burst through on goal. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar blocked brilliantly at his feet only for the ball to rebound to Rooney on the edge of the box to slot home.
Neymar had a great chance to equalise but, sliding in, shot over while Walcott extended Cesar as England came close to doubling their advantage.
Brazil equalised soon after the restart when Cahill was caught dribbling the ball out of defence as the ball took a ricochet to substitute Fred to score with a terrific shot from the edge of the box.
They were lucky not to fall behind moments later when Fred struck the crossbar after Brazil seized on to a poor clearance from Hart.
Cahill almost made amends for his blunder with a bullet header from Steve Gerrard’s corner which forced a great tip over by Cesar.
England regained the lead on the hour when Walcott helped set up Lampard whose shot from the edge of the box flew in off the upright. It was the 27th goal he had scored for his country.