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Brazil deny England Maracanã win

Brazil 2-2 England
Roy Hodgson's men were eight minutes away from victory after goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wayne Rooney almost secured a famous win.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring England's equaliser
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring England's equaliser ©Getty Images

England were unable to become the first European side to beat Brazil on their own turf since 1984 but came close to victory as goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wayne Rooney pushed the hosts all the way at the Maracanã.

Roy Hodgson's men were in South America to contest the first game at the redeveloped stadium, set to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and they fell behind to Fred's effort on the hour. Oxlade-Chamberlain's father was part of that last victorious European side 29 years ago, a 2-0 England win, and the Arsenal FC man continued the family tradition by hitting the equaliser, before Rooney put the Three Lions ahead. However, Paulinho's 82nd-minute volley earned the holders of next year's World Cup a share of the spoils.

With the hosts keen to impress in the carnival atmosphere, new FC Barcelona signing Neymar was at the centre of things for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side, seeing an acrobatic volley blocked before Joe Hart rushed out to make a sprawling stop at the forward's feet. FC Zenit St Petersburg's Hulk then squandered the best opening of the half as he attempted to deftly back-heel a low cross into the net, only for the ball to roll the wrong side of the post.

As the period wore on, England worked their way into things with Theo Walcott and Frank Lampard drawing good saves from goalkeeper Júlio César, but they could not continue that momentum into the second half. Instead, the breakthrough came for the hosts when an ambitious Hernanes effort bounced back off the crossbar, with Fred on hand to turn in.

The visitors responded well and Oxlade-Chamberlain struck his third international goal with a powerful first-time effort from 20 metres, before Rooney silenced the home crowd as his deflected shot from range looped into the net with 11 minutes remaining. However, Paulinho's controlled volley meant England could not end the season with a memorable win.

Hodgson's men will hope to build on this performance in a home friendly against Scotland in August, before resuming their FIFA World Cup qualifying Group H campaign against Moldova on 6 September.