By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
LONDON, ENGLAND – The Brazilian national side were defeated 2-1 last night at London’s Wembley Stadium in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s first match back in charge. Ronaldinho Gaúcho missed a penalty for the Brazilians when the score was goalless to condemn an underwhelming start to Scolari’s second reign as Seleção head coach.
Close to 90,000 filled Wembley for the match to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The FA, England’s Football Association. Brazil had looked relatively comfortable but, the missed penalty aside, had not created any dangerous openings when Wayne Rooney gave the English the lead on 25 minutes.
Theo Walcott, through on goal, saw Julio César save his effort before Rooney slotted home the rebound. The goal appeared to suck the life out of Brazil as they ceded control in midfield.
Fred replaced the ineffective Luís Fabiano at the interval and had an immediate impact. Gary Cahill’s wayward pass struck Lucas and fell into the path of the Fluminense hitman. Calmly picking his moment, Fred smashed the ball past Joe Hart from the edge of the box.
Yet England refused to fold. On the hour mark, veteran Frank Lampard scored the winner, expertly volleying past César from twenty yards. Debutant defender Dante put in a worthy shift for the Brazilians but Scolari will need to put in double-time on his attack if his team are to lift the Confederations Cup in June.
Neymar still looks lightweight at international level and anonymous display by Ronaldinho as the side’s primary playmaker should tell Scolari to begin to look to emerging talents to fill the void.
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