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Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar November 15, 2017 06:53

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By Richard Piggford at Wembley Stadium © Satish Sekar (November 14th 2017)

England played out their second goalless draw in under a week, against an almost full strength Brazil side. Before Friday night’s 0-0 draw with Germany, England had never played out a goalless draw at the new Wembley Stadium.

As promised,England’s manager Gareth Southgate picked a much changed side to the one who faced Germany, with a full debut in the heart of defence for Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, whilst veteran goalkeeper Joe Hart returned to replace the impressive Jordan Pickford.

The game started at a reasonably quick pace as the 85,495 fans in Wembley Stadium, made themselves heard the first time world superstar Neymar Jnr got on the ball. England, who looked compact and organised, defended well throughout with the impressive trio of John Stones, Harry Maguire and full debutant Gomez, dealing with the threat of Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus without too much trouble.

The opening 10 minutes carried very little goal-mouth action, with Neymar and Dani Alves flashing efforts well wide, whilst Marcus Rashford was unlucky to not get in behind following a good ball over the top from the impressive Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The first real save of the game came in the 13th minute as Joe Hart got down well to deny Gabriel Jesus’ stooping header from creeping in at his far post. Further Brazil pressure followed, forcing Stones into an excellent defensive header to stop club team mate Gabriel Jesus, who was through on goal. Further flashes of brilliance came from Neymar who twice played exquisite balls through for Gabriel Jesus, who both times had just strayed offside.

England were forced into an early substitution in the 34th minute as Loftus-Cheek was forced off with an injury meaning Jesse Lingard came on to earn his 8th international cap for the Three Lions. England briefly threatened following good work from Jamie Vardy. However, the first half quickly fizzled out and both sides headed to the break without breaking the deadlock.

0-0 half time.

Brazil started the second half brightly, with Hart again making an impressive stop to deny Gabriel Jesus, before a slightly late challenge by birthday boy Jake Livermore on Danny Alves caused some minor handbags. On the hour mark, Brazil again began to turn the screw, however no real goal scoring opportunities came from the additional possession, largely due to the fine work of England’s 3 central defenders, Stones, Gomez and Maguire who really grew into the game as it developed.

In the 72nd minute England made a double change as Tammy Abraham replaced Vardy, seconds before Dominic Solanke came on for his international debut replacing Marcus Rashford. Extraordinarily Solanke, an Under-20 World Cup winner, has now became a full England international before making a single English career league start for either Chelsea or Liverpool.

The 76th minute brought the closest the game got to a goal. Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, rattled Joe Hart’s right hand post with a 25 yard fizzer that had Hart scrambling across his goal. However, it was that man Solanke who nearly made the dream debut as he found himself unmarked and 6 yards from goal. Unfortunately the ball just wouldn’t sit up for him and with that England’s chance to steal victory was gone.

Full time England 0-0 Brazil

Brazil’s Head coach Tite’s reaction:

“… only one team tried to win the match,” adding: “One team was playing with a high-line, pushing forward.
“The other team was more defensive and waiting for one counter attack or mistake to win the match.”

England manager Gareth Southgate:

“In terms of heart, resilience and spirit it was up there with anything I’ve been involved in,” said Southgate.

“We couldn’t get hold of the ball and keep it. Tonight we just showed resilience, guts and some outstanding defending and I’m incredibly proud.

“We had the best defensive record in Europe in qualifying and we’ve played the best two teams in the world and not conceded. When you dig in you get half chances and we had them at the end and could have won the game. It’s a base to work from.”

England v Brazil stats:

England            Brazil

Possession:                  34 %                   66%

Shots:                              4                         14

Shots in target:           2                          3

Corners:                          1                         2

Fouls:                              20                       15

England

Hart, Walker, Bertrand (Young, 80), Gomez, Stones, Maguire, Loftus-Cheek (Lingard, 35) Dier (C), Livermore (Rose, 88), Vardy (Solanke, 75), Rashford (Abraham 75).

Brazil

Alisson, Alves, Miranda, Casemiro, Augusto (Fernandinho, 68), Gabriel Jesus (Firmino, 76,) Neymar Jr, Coutinho (Willian, 68), Marcelo, Marquinhos, Paulinho

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar November 15, 2017 06:53