June 18, 2013
Scolari suffers as Lampard seals England win
Luiz Felipe Scolari's second coming as Brazil manager ended in a defeat as goals from Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard earned a vibrant England side a 2-1 win at Wembley today, their first over the south Americans for 23 years.
The moustachioed mastermind of Brazil's fifth world crown in 2002 has been re-installed to guide next year's World Cup hosts after a slide down the FIFA rankings but was left with much to ponder.
Veteran Ronaldinho, one of Scolari's trump cards during his previous spell in the hot seat, donned the famous yellow shirt for the first time in a year but the 32-year-old missed a first-half penalty before being withdrawn at halftime.
England capitalised on their early let-off with Rooney producing a cool finish to fire his side ahead after 27 minutes, his 33rd goal for his country.
Substitute Fred equalised for Brazil three minutes after halftime and struck the crossbar as Scolari's side briefly came alive in a fixture that kicked off a year of events to mark the 150th anniversary of the Football Association.
Lampard, one of six Chelsea players on display including Ashley Cole making his 100th appearance for England, sent the majority of the 87,000 fans home happy with a superb curled winner on the hour.
Brazil struggled to threaten in the closing stages and England comfortably held on for their first victory over Brazil in nine attempts stretching back to 1990.
Roy Hodgson's England can expect a more nervy night in Montenegro next month where defeat could derail their World Cup qualification campaign, but they will move forward full of confidence after taking the scalp of Brazil.
"We were rather hoping things would go our way as we began our 150th year celebrations but we knew it wouldn't be easy because we chose to play Brazil," Hodgson told reporters.
"But I'm pleased with the way the players went about their business. I don't think we stole anything and apart from a mad spell just after halftime we dealt well with the questions they asked us and we asked plenty of questions for them."
Scolari, who after guiding Brazil to glory in Japan and South Korea, took Portugal to the semis in 2006 and came close to taking the England job before a brief spell as Chelsea manager, shrugged off the defeat.
"When I was coach of Kuwait I lost my first match, when I was coach of Brazil, I lost my first match and when I was coach of Portugal I also lost my first match, but every time I went on to be successful," Scolari told reporters.