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England beaten by Brazil in friendly

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England beaten by Brazil in friendly

Three Lions lose at Wembley as teenager Endrick scores Brazil winner

England suffered their first defeat since the World Cup as teenage star Endrick came off the bench to seal Brazil a late victory against Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 hopefuls.

After a build-up dominated by the brouhaha over an altered St George’s flag on the back of the new shirt and talk about the manager’s future, Saturday’s glamour friendly between these injury-hit sides failed to live up to the hype.

Southgate’s side survived a few scares on a night that was heading towards a goalless conclusion until 17-year-old Endrick’s first senior international goal secured a 1-0 win at a sold-out Wembley.

This was England’s first defeat since their World Cup quarter-final exit to France 15 months ago, with the meek end to their 10-match unbeaten run leading to early exits and some grumbles at the final whistle.

Brazil had been on a run of three straight losses but, under new boss Dorival Junior, had the best chances of a stop-start opening period that saw Lucas Paqueta hit the post and somehow escape a second yellow card.

Vinicius Jr and Raphinha also had chances for the Selecao, with the former’s late shot leading to teenager Endrick’s matchwinner as England made a poor start to a year they hope will go down in history.

The night started with a minute’s applause as Wembley acknowledged the recent deaths of Stan Bowles, Ron Baynham and Mario Zagallo, as well as Terry Venables in November.

“Oh Terry, Terry,” chanted fans in memory of the former England player and manager on a night when a number of his Euro 96 squad were in attendance, including in the home dugout.

Southgate saw his side struggle to stifle the Selecao’s bright start, with Rodrygo finding space to get away an early shot and Vinicius Jr seeing a shot cleared in the 12th minute.

Paqueta turned, showed strength and expertly lifted over for the Real Madrid star, who beat Jordan Pickford but saw Walker get back to stop his weak shot rolling home.

The right-back was captaining England in the absence of the injured Harry Kane but soon handed the armband to Harry Maguire after picking up a knock, leading to Ezri Konsa coming on for his debut.

England had barely tested a Brazil back five featuring four debutants, with Fabricio Bruno getting a vital touch as Ollie Watkins flashed over from close range.

Maguire and Ben Chilwell threatened as England became annoyed by Brazilian fouls. A belated booking for Paqueta was cheered and he was fortunate not to receive another in a first half in which he went closest to scoring.

Brazil moved the ball from back to front impressively, ending with the West Ham man hitting the post.

Phil Foden responded with England’s first shot on target and debutant Anthony Gordon, who grew as the half wore on, saw an effort pushed wide by Bento.

Bruno Guimaraes turned behind his own goal as Foden loitered at a corner, but Brazil so nearly went into the break leading.

Maguire failed to deal with a high ball, resulting in Raphinha dragging a shot across the face of goal, perhaps with a slight Pickford fingertip. The defender apologetically held his hand up.

Gordon saw a shot stopped when play resumed and John Stones fizzed wide but it was far from one-way traffic and there was a collective intake of breath in the 63rd minute when Paqueta bent a first-time shot beyond Pickford and just past the far post.

Both sides rung changes midway through the second half, including 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo coming on for his England debut.

Lewis Dunk was among those brought on and his poor header was cut out by Andreas Pereira in the 80th minute, leading to Brazil’s winner.

The Fulham midfielder put Vinicius Jr scampering behind, with Pickford stopping the initial shot before Endrick scored the rebound.

England pushed for a leveller that evaded them, with Endrick going close to making it a brace at the end of a stoppage time break.

This was the first time Southgate’s men had tasted defeat at Wembley since the Euro 2020 penalty shoot-out loss to Italy.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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