Live Commentary: Brazil 2-2 England - as it happened

Live Commentary: Brazil 2-2 England - as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole's live text commentary of the friendly between Brazil and England at the Maracana that ends in a 2-2 draw.

England travelled to Rio de Janeiro this evening for their final match of the campaign, a showpiece friendly against Brazil at the Maracana.

Brazil dominated for the first 60 minutes and deservedly took the lead early in the second half, courtesy of a clinical finish from Fred.

England rallied and equalised thanks to a superb strike from substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The visitors then went ahead on the counter through Wayne Rooney's deflected drive, but Paulinho responded for the visitors with a well-taken equaliser soon after.

Look back at a competitive encounter full of incident with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute commentary below.


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7.04pmEvening international football fans. A marathon season finally comes to a close for England tonight at the Maracana, with a showpiece return friendly against Brazil. Despite healthy and safety concerns surrounding the revamped stadium tonight's match goes ahead, with both sides looking for an eye-catching victory.

7.07pmEngland are looking to keep quiet a growing band of critics following their 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday. Roy Hodgson's side were branded a team "from the dark ages" by former Three Lions striker Gary Lineker and will want to set the record straight with an improved display this evening.

7.10pmHodgson's cause has not been helped by a growing injury list, made worse by the withdrawal of Danny Welbeck with a knee problem on Friday. With just 15 outfield players available England will need to put a long season behind them and dig deep against the Samba stars tonight.

7.12pmBrazil have also endured stinging criticism in recent months as returning coach Scolari builds towards hosting the World Cup next summer. The veteran boss has just one win since taking charge of the Selecao in December, with defeats to Argentina and England ensuring pressure from the outset of his second reign.

7.15pmAfter using nearly 40 players in six friendlies time is running out for Scolari to show his team are making progress. Brazil will play England and France before the sternest test of their credentials to date, hosting a Confederations Cup which includes Italy and current world champions Spain later this month.

7.18pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! News of the England starting XI for tonight has reached us, but no sign of the Brazilian lineup just yet. Hodgson has made three changes to the side that drew with Ireland, with James Milner and Phil Jones among the players included. A full look at the England team will follow in just a few moments.

7.20pmENGLAND: Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Jones, Carrick, Lampard, Milner, Rooney, Walcott

7.22pmWith options limited Hodgson has still found some room for maneuver after failing to beat Ireland on Wednesday. After celebrating passing 100 caps earlier this week Ashley Cole gets a rest tonight, replaced by in-form Everton full-back Leighton Baines.

7.24pmJames Milner and Phil Jones also get a chance to impress tonight, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dropping to the bench. Daniel Sturridge is also out this evening, with the Liverpool striker left at home after picking up a painful injury against Ireland.

7.27pmAfter a slight delay news has finally emerged of the Brazil starting XI, with the Selecao just about at full strength. Thiago Silva, Neymar and David Luiz all start for the home side tonight. A full look at the Brazil starting XI to come in just a moment.

7.30pmBRAZIL: Julio Cesar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo, Paulinho, Fernando, Neymar, Oscar, Lucas, Fred

7.32pmA mix of familiar European names and home-based talents form tonight's Brazil side, which is built around Neymar. The Barcelona-bound forward is heavily relied upon for creative influence by his national side and tonight should prove no different.

7.34pmVeteran forward Fred will lead the line for Brazil tonight, with Neymar playing just behind in a largely-conventional number 10 position. Hulk and Oscar should occupy wide roles, with Oscar's Chelsea teammate Ramires forced to settle for a place on the bench.

7.37pmQuite surprisingly Scolari has decided not to start either of his treble-winning Bayern Munich duo tonight. Dante and Luis Gustavo both missed their club side's DFB Pokal success to join up with the national side, but are reduced to a watching brief from the start this evening.

7.40pmIt will quite interesting to see how this England side lines up in terms of formation tonight. Hodgson has staunchly rejected criticism of his 4-4-2 formation, drawing comparions with fictional character Mike Bassett as a result.

7.42pmOn paper the inclusion of Jones makes it look like England will line up in a 4-3-2-1 formation, but Milner could equally drop slightly deeper to pack the midfield against a Brazil like who like to keep possession for long spells. Jones could have the unenviable task of man-marking Neymar, with Lampard and Carrick also staying deep to deny the starlet space.

7.44pmFrank Lampard is one of the few England players to emerge from the Ireland match with any semblance of credit. The Chelsea midfielder will captain the side in his 97th appearance tonight, and at the age of 34 stills has the stamina to deal with passing 50 games in a marathon campaign.

7.47pmThe build-up to tonight's clash cannot be done justice without talking about the Maracana. After being threatened by a state judge over safety concerns the revamped, and wildly over-budget new ground will host tonight's match, albeit with a reduced capacity.

7.49pmEngland have just one victory in Brazil to their name, which came in memorable fashion back in 1984. John Barnes scored a goal written into national folklore that night, gliding through a static Brazil defence to slot home after a mazy dribble.

7.51pmTEAM NEWS! A late change has been made to the Brazil starting XI this evening, with Luiz Gustavo reportedly starting in place of Marcelo. If confirmed that should mean Felipe switches to full-back, with Gustavo joining Paulinho in a deep midfield role.

7.54pmPREDICTION! Both sides are due out in a matter of moments at the Marcana, which means there is just time for me to hazard a guess at tonight's scoreline. With Brazil under increasing pressure to deliver I think the hosts will record a narrow victory tonight, with Fred continuing his clinical form with the opening goal.

7.57pmHere come tonight's starting XI's, both sporting new kits in a well-timed move from a certain leading sport's manufacturer. England are led out by Lampard as they take a side to the Maracana for the first time in over 29 years. Around 1,000 travelling Three Lions' fans have made the trip, but are quickly drowned out as the Brazilian national anthem is led by a brass band.

7.59pmPre-match proceedings are just about complete after a rendition of God Save the Queen. England will need to keep this match compact and treat possession as crucial in the early stages, with Walcott and Rooney outlets for the visitors on the counter.

2 minNeymar and Fred get this showpiece friendly underway, with Brazil shooting from left to right. England in a changed red strip are quickly in the final third as Milner and Baines combine, with the visitors eventually retreating under pressure for Hart to clear his lines.

4 minThe reduced capacity has not dampened a raucous atmosphere at the Maracana as Brazil build a spell of sustained possession. Felipe Luis is first to show promise as he darts inside to find Oscar, with the Chelsea midfielder's shot from range quickly charged down by two England defenders.

6 minEngland take a quick free-kick as Lampard sends a cross into the penalty area, but Thiago Silva reads the danger to head clear. Lampard is quickly involved again as he wins possession in a central position, but a ball aimed towards Rooney in the final third has just too much power to reach the lone striker.

8 minAn important block from Carrick prevents Neymar's acrobatic strike from testing Hart on the turn. Brazil used quick movement between their front three to create space, with Hulk passing to Fred, who in turn found Barcelona's summer signing.

10 minA quite incredible piece of control from Dani Alves has Brazil back on the attack, with the full-back plucking a long pass out of the air with relative ease. England are sitting deep in the early stages as Carrick, Lampard and Jones form a protective three-man midfield.

12 minCarrick concedes a free kick just outside the penalty area, with England exposed by a rapid counter attack from the hosts. Hulk and Luiz both want to take the set piece, but Neymar eventually steps up and sends a comfortable strike straight to a grateful Hart from 20 yards.

14 minMilner is next to concede a free kick deep in his own half after needlessly committing to a sliding challenge on Alves. Neymar once again takes and sends a hugely disappointing cross passed a packed penalty area. Brazil need their talisman to produce better from that range, especially with numbers forward waiting to attack his delivery.

17 minEngland look largely happy to sit deep and wait for the chance to break as Walcott leads the charge forward. After a bright run the Arsenal forward's pass out wide to Jones his well short and allows Felipe Luis to clear easily.

19 minAlves decides to pull the trigger after being given space to operate from 30 yards. The full-back's shot is hit with power and purpose but eventually flies well wide of Hart's far post.

21 minSAVE! Hart has just denied Neymar from close range with a magnificent sprawling save. Brazil sliced open a static England defence as Alves picked out the forward with a diagonal pass. Neymar controlled brilliantly to cut inside Johnson, but from point-blank range saw a low effort blocked wide by Hart at full stretch.

24 minFrom the following corner kick Hart is again called into action, this time easily catching a tame effort on the turn from Thiago Silva. Brazil are now running this match but another chance to attack is brought to a halt by Luiz, who smashes out of play with an attempted pass under absolutely no pressure.

27 minWIDE! More intricate play in the final third from Brazil as Neymar and Fred exchange passes just outside the penalty area. Neymar eventually decides to shoot after cutting inside, curling a fine effort just beyond the post and a grateful Hart. England's midfield trio are failing to stop the supply line going forward, but the visitors are still level despite a difficult start.

29 minOscar and Hulk have switched wings for Brazil and the Chelsea midfielder is quick to have an effect in his new position. After gliding past Baines the playmaker sent a teasing cross to the far post, with an important touch from Johnson proving just enough to avert danger. At the other end England win a corner kick to give their defence a rest, with Lampard's cross cleared by a header from Fred.

32 minDOUBLE SAVE! More Hart heroics keep the game goalless as Brazil attack menacingly once more. Hulk looks certain to score after being found in space but Hart is quickly on the scene, shutting down a low shot before doing enough to stop Felipe Luis on the rebound. The Selecao then register another effort on target from a corner kick as Alves has a central strike easily saved from distance.

34 minSUBSTITUTION: England are simply failing to shut down a constant wave of home pressure as Oscar is next to have a drive from range palmed clear. Soon after Baines is forced off for the visitors as he struggles to the touchline injured, with the full-back quickly replaced by Ashley Cole.

37 minHulk elects to shoot rather than find Neymar in space on the left, and his decision is far from justified as a woeful curling effort flies over the crossbar. England are quick to counter and get a rare sight of goal as Rooney and Walcott break with pace. After a touch of fortune the ball breaks for Rooney, but his low strike is blocked by a lunge from Silva.

39 minCHANCE! Brazil come within inches of breaking the deadlock as Hulk's inventive flick goes just beyond the far post. Just before that clever effort the hosts had a penalty appeal turned down, with Oscar denied a spot kick after going down under a sliding challenge.

41 minSHOT! A shocking effort at a long pass from Johnson sees England go back to defending after initially looking to threaten down the right flank. The full-back quickly gets another chance and does much better, slipping Walcott in behind with a clever pass. Walcott has time to pick his spot from a tight angle, but Cesar is equal to a powerful strike and parries the effort wide.

43 minThe loud voice of England assistant Ray Lewington has been audible for much of the first period, and he is shouting again as Brazil create a chance just before the break. Oscar's chipped cross looked dangerous at the far post, but under pressure from Johnson a looping header from Fred was always too high and goes well over the crossbar.

45 min+1Lampard has a sight of goal as England threaten for the second time, stinging Cesar's gloves with a strike from just inside the penalty area. Brazil have just taken their foot off the pedal a touch as we head towards the break, with Oscar miscontrolling under little pressure.

8.49pmHALF-TIME Brazil 0-0 England

8.52pmWell that first half was largely frustrating for England fans but the visitors are still level, thanks largely to the efforts of Hart. The Manchester City goalkeeper has been at his best to deny Neymar, Hulk and Oscar in a testing 45 minutes, with Hodgson's side struggling to gain any prolonged possession or leave their own half.

8.55pmHodgson decided to opt for a three-man midfield of Jones, Carrick and Lampard tonight, with the plan to sit deep and deny Neymar space to control the match. That gameplan has proved largely ineffective so far with the Barcelona-bound forward driving forward with intent, ably supported by the impressive Oscar out wide.

8.57pmWhile England were not expected to control possession their efforts so far this evening have been far from acceptable. Sloppy passing has been a prominent theme, with a tired-looking away side caught out consistently by pace and movement in midfield.

9.00pmThe remit for England when play resumes is to keep the ball for longer spells, giving the defence a chance to regroup. Walcott has proved just about the only outlet on the counter, with Hodgson's side over-reliant on his pace out wide. Rooney has been isolated in attack, while Milner has struggled to make his mark in an unfamiliar role on the left wing.

9.03pmScolari will want more of the same for Brazil in the second half, while asking for composure in the final third. While the hosts have been bright service to Fred has been far from frequent, with Hulk also struggling to match the high standards of Oscar on the opposite flank. How Scolari could do with a morale-boosting victory to match their encouraging display.

9.05pmWe are currently at the mercy of an interruption to live coverage from the Maracana just before play resumes. Technical difficulties are swiftly over and both sides are making their way out for the second period, with Brazil bringing on Real Madrid full-back Marcelo and Hernanes.

47 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Those confirmed changes for Brazil are Marcelo and Hernanes on for Felipe Luis and Gustavo. England get the second half underway but quickly lose possession as Fred and Hulk react quickly to create danger in the final third. Eventually Lampard scrambles clear, but his long pass in search of Walcott is easily cut out by Marcelo.

49 minEngland clear their lines and win a corner kick as Rooney forces Silva to clear behind with a covering challenge. Lampard's looping cross towards the back post finds Jones, but Rooney is penalised for holding Cesar and a rare chance to test the Brazil keeper is quickly gone.

52 minWalcott wastes a chance to break with speed for the visitors, choosing to turn inside rather than take on a covering defender. The second half has made a subdued start, with Hernanes summing things up with a mistimed pass in central midfield.

55 minA huge cheer comes from the home crowd as Lucas Moura comes to the touchline, with the Paris Saint-Germain winger seemingly about to come on. Meanwhile Brazil probe into the final third as Hulk finds Fred, but the forward's powerful shot is quickly shut down by a strong block from Cahill.

58 minHulk looks destined to get a shot at goal after cutting inside to meet a long pass, but an important covering challenge from Milner denies the forward a chance to test Hart. Meanwhile Brazil bring on Moura, but the change is now greeted by a chorus of boos as the crowd voice their displeasure at seeing Oscar leave the pitch. It seems like Scolari cant't win this evening, but Oscar was playing with purpose in a strong performance.

60 minGOAL! Brazil 1-0 England (Fred)

63 minHome pressure finally tells as Brazil take the lead through clinical striker Fred. The forward reacted quickest after Hernanes saw a curling strike come back off the bar, beating a static England defence to the ball. With Hart just returning to his feet Fred smashed a low strike under the keeper to give the Selecao a well-deserved advantage.

65 minMuted appeals for a Brazil penalty go unanswered as Hulk goes down in a tussle with Cole. The forward was never likely to meet a chipped pass from Neymar and has his protest for a spot kick quickly turned away.

67 minSUBSTITUTION: Hodgson reacts to conceding by making a positive chance, with Oxlade-Chamberlain replacing Johnson after a difficult evening for the full-back. The Arsenal man takes up a central position, with Jones switching to right-back.

69 minYELLOW CARD! Hulk picks up the game's first caution after clattering into Carrick with a forceful sliding challenge. England use the chance to clear and win a free kick in the final third after Paulinho's late tackle. On the follow-up Milner's deflected strike looks destined to find the corner, but eventually flies just wide.

69 minCHANCE! England create by far their best opportunity of the match from the following corner kick. Rooney rose highest to meet a curling cross but from six yards could only turn his header past the far post. In truth the forward should really have done better from that range, but finally some signs of encouragement for Hodgson's side.

71 minGOAL! Brazil 1-1 England (Oxlade-Chamberlain)

73 minWell out of nothing a moment of genuine quality from Oxlade-Chamberlain has England level. The substitute met neat approach play from Lampard and Rooney to unleash a powerful, swerving strike towards the bottom corner. Despite having time to read the shot Cesar has absolutely no chance, with the ball flying quickly into the bottom corner with power and precision. What a moment for the Arsenal youngster, drawing England level against the run of play with a truly memorable effort!

75 minSUBSTITUTION: Scolari reacts to conceding that goal by making a conservative change, with Gilberto replacing Hulk in move that should see Paulinho pushed further forward. England look revitalised as Rooney just fails to meet a powerful pass from Chamberlain in a central position.

77 minBrazil win a corner kick as Jones decides not to take any chances, clearing his lines to stop Marcelo at the far post. England clear through Rooney and also stop the follow-up as Hart catches a deflected cross from Alves.

79 minA vital block from Silva just denies Milner after an incisive passing move involving Chamberlain, Cole and Rooney found the England midfielder inside the penalty area. Tiredness is helping this match open up in the closing stages, with Hernanes and Marcelo probing at the other end for the hosts.

81 minGOAL! Brazil 1-2 England (Rooney)

83 minA sweeping England counter has Hodgson's side ahead at the Maracana! The visitors seized on a chance to break after Marcelo's poor cutback as Chamberlain cleared in his own half. Milner showed great stamina to meet an overhit pass and keep the move alive, eventually finding Rooney in the final third. Given time and space the striker cut inside and curled a deflected drive into the top corner from 20 yards. What a turnaround and after a tough start England are ahead with less than 10 minutes to play.

85 minGOAL! Brazil 2-2 England (Paulinho)

87 minAnd less than two minutes after scoring England fans are made to pay for a confident boost of 'It's just like watching Brazil' as the home side equalise. Lucas Moura broke clear out wide and picked out Paulinho with an inviting cross. The midfielder watched the ball with intent and did the rest, smashing a controlled volley into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

89 minSUBSTITUTIONS: England quickly swap Walcott for Rodwell after that goal, while Brazil introduce their latest starlet Bernard for the final few minutes. Bernard is quickly involved, chasing a long pass down and forcing Hart to intervene with a perfectly-timed interception. This match could still go either way in the closing stages.

90 min+1Late on Jagielka is harshly penalised for a challenge on substitute Damiao just outside the penalty area. From the resulting free-kick Carrick stops a header across goal from Luiz causing problems, clearing with a crucial intervention. Rooney then chases down a flick from Milner in the final third, winning a throw which takes some pressure off the visitors in stoppage time.

90 min+3An inviting curling cross from Cole is completely missed by Luiz, but Rodwell has no time to anticipate the error and a half-chance in added time goes begging for England. Brazil then go up the other end to probe in the closing stages, but some brave defending from the visitors sees successive shots from Lucas and Hernanes blocked away to safety.

9.56pmFULL-TIME Brazil 2-2 England

9.58pmWell in the end a thoroughly entertaining friendly finishes level as England and Brazil share four goals at the Maracana. Hodgson's side went a long way to erasing a torrid first-half display with a spirited fightback, capped by fine strikes from Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rooney.

10.01pmBrazil merited a late eqauliser and will be disappointed not to win after dominating the match for long spells. Scolari has now won just once in seven matches this year as pressure continues to mount on his under-achieving squad.

10.04pmWell that brings an end to Sports Mole's coverage of a fun clash from the Maracana, and indeed England's marathon campaign. Thanks for your time and be sure to check back in for comprehensive coverage of a busy international schedule.

Brazil's Maracana Stadium, photographed on April 11, 2013
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