England Beats Brazil 2-1 to Spoil Scolari’s Return as Coa

England defeated Brazil for the first time in 23 years to spoil Luiz Felipe Scolari’s return as coach of the record five-time World Cup soccer champions.

Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard scored and Joe Hart saved a penalty kick last night at Wembley Stadium in London as England won 2-1 to secure its fourth victory in 24 meetings with Brazil.

“It’s my first crack at Brazil as a manager and I’m delighted to have been able to oversee a victory,” England manager Roy Hodgson told the British Broadcasting Corp. “It was an all-round performance from the team, there were some very, very good moments.”

World champion Spain, Germany and Ireland were among other winners in the final tuneup games for European teams before qualifying resumes next month for the 2014 World Cup, which will be hosted by Brazil.

Lampard got England’s winning goal after Fred scored for Brazil, which was playing the first game of Scolari’s second stint as coach. Scolari, who led the Brazilians to World Cup victory in 2002, replaced the fired Mano Menezes in November.

Hart stopped both Ronaldinho’s penalty and his rebound shot in the 19th minute. Rooney then put England in front seven minutes later when he fired in the rebound after Julio Cesar saved Theo Walcott’s shot.

Fred came on as a halftime substitute and tied the score in the 48th minute after defender Gary Cahill gave the ball away. Lampard, who replaced Tom Cleverley at halftime, scored in the 60th minute off a pass from Rooney to give England its first victory against Brazil since a 1-0 win in March 1990.

Defender Ashley Cole played the first half to become the seventh player to make 100 appearances for England.

Germany Fightback

Pedro Rodriguez scored twice as world and European champion Spain beat Uruguay 3-1. Sami Khedira’s 73rd-minute goal gave Germany a 2-1 comeback win in France. Ciaran Clark and Wes Hoolahan scored as Ireland beat Poland 2-0.

Elsewhere, Italy tied the Netherlands 1-1 on Marco Verratti’s stoppage-time goal, Sergio Aguero was among the scorers as Argentina beat Sweden 3-2, Felipe Caicedo’s goal gave Ecuador a 3-2 win against Portugal and Gareth Bale and Sam Vokes scored as Wales defeated Austria 2-1.

The Czech Republic beat Turkey 2-0, Belgium defeated Slovakia 2-1, Scotland beat Estonia 1-0 and Greece drew 0-0 with Switzerland.

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