Paulinho earns draw for Brazil in Maracana reopening

Rio de Janeiro, June 3 (IANS) A sublime 83rd-minute volley from Paulinho earned Brazil a 2-2 draw against England in the first match at the revamped Maracana stadium.

The Corinthians midfielder struck with a sweetly timed drive after a precise cross from Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas here Sunday night, reports Xinhua.

Following a first half of few highlights, the match sprung to life when Fred netted with a first-time finish after Hernane’s long-range effort rebounded off the crossbar.

Second-half substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain equalized nine minutes later by firing in from the edge of the area following an exchange with Wayne Rooney.

The Manchester United striker then gave England the lead when he accepted a Milner pass before his thumping strike from outside the area deflected off Fernando into the top corner.

Brazil dominated possession in the first half with Cheslea midfielder Oscar, in particularly, linking impressively with forwards Neymar and Hulk.

Neymar had the best chance of the opening half when an England defensive error in the 24th minute left him with only goalkeeper Joe Hart to beat. But his feeble shot from inside the six-yard box was parried clear by the Manchester City stopper.

Oscar was also denied 10 minute later when Hart kept out his shot from the edge of the penalty area after Neymar’s pass.

Brazil will have their last chance to prepare for the FIFA Confederations Cup with a friendly against France in Porto Alegre on June 9.

Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team begin their Confederations Cup campaign against Japan in Brasilia, June 15.

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