England spoil Scolari’s Brazil return
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 on Wednesday, 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the famous yellow shirt for the first time in a year but the 32-year-old missed a first-half penalty before being withdrawn at halftime.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.
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.