Excite

Rooney and Lampard goals secure England victory over Brazil

Who are you and what have you done with the real England team? That would have been the understandable reaction of most England fans witnessing a performance of verve, skill and enterprise as the men in the white shirts defeated Brazil 2-1 at Wembley.

It was only England’s fourth-ever victory over the South Americans and it was deserved if only for manager Roy Hodgson’s willingness to forget the caution and fear that characterised last summer's European Championship displays and take the game to the Brazilians with a bold attacking formation.

England rode their luck at times, with Joe Hart producing an impressive early save from a Ronaldinho penalty. They were always looking to go forward though, and Wayne Rooney finished off a smooth attacking move in the first half to give England a merited lead.

Early in the second half, England reverted to more familiar form when Gary Cahill attempted to carry the ball out of defence. Losing possession, he was immediately punished when Fred, with a finish that was flashier than his name, drove in the equaliser.

England rallied impressively, with Theo Walcott’s pace a constant threat. The veteran Frank Lampard showed class was ageless with a precise finish after Walcott had menaced the Brazilian defence down the right.

Jack Wilshere was at the heart of most England moves, his energy and skill earning him the man of the match award. Hodgson thinks the victory will give the younger players plenty of confidence. "I hope this gives them that belief," he said. "We had quite a young team out there, with players who were 22 or younger. The man of the match is 21, and then there was Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling. They're blending with the experienced ones and we're seeing they're good enough to play in this team and win matches."

Having beaten the 2014 World Cup hosts, England now have to ensure they are there for the finals. The serious business of qualifying resumes in March.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2017