Nilmar strikes to see off depleted England

Brazil 1 England 0

Wayne Rooney's first game as England captain ended in defeat as a severely depleted side were beaten by five-time world champions Brazil in Qatar.

Fabio Capello's side fell victim to a goal early in the second period from Nilmar to leave England still without a win in eight matches on neutral territory against the Brazilians.

Fabiano also missed a penalty for Brazil, who unsurprisingly dominated possession.

They were aided by an England midfield which gave the ball away far too easily and consequently the front two of Rooney and Darren Bent were starved of any worthwhile service.

But this was no vintage performance by Brazil and their trickery was largely confined to in front of the back four and goalkeeper Ben Foster, apart from an impressive spell after the break.

Capello will now have four months to reflect on how many of his fringe players pushed their claims to be part of his World Cup plans before the next international in early March.

Only Aston Villa winger James Milner, who was making his full debut, could feel he furthered his cause on the left wing to any significant effect.

Capello's squad had already been decimated by the absence of David James, Glen Johnson, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, David Beckham, Aaron Lennon, Theo Walcott and Emile Heskey.

But he was forced to further reorganise when skipper John Terry lost his battle to recover from an Achilles problem and midfielder Michael Carrick was ruled out with an ankle injury.

It meant Gareth Barry and Rooney were the only first-choice players in the starting XI, in contrast to Brazil who were virtually at full strength.

Capello handed a first start since his opening game in charge against Switzerland to Jermaine Jenas and there were only three survivors from the starting XI against Belarus last month in Foster, Wayne Bridge and Barry.

It was a similar scenario to 12 months ago when a scratch side won 2-1 against Germany in Berlin but Brazil unsurprisingly provided a sterner test given that they have regained the number one spot in the FIFA world rankings.

Players from both teams paid their respects to German goalkeeper Robert Enke, who died earlier this week at the age of 32, before kick-off during a period of silence.

England began promisingly and a low cross from Shaun Wright-Phillips just eluded the run of Rooney into the Brazilian box, but Dunga's side were soon in control and knocking the ball around in confident style.

A mistake by Matthew Upson allowed Nilmar to cut in unopposed from the left flank but his low centre was intercepted by Bridge.

Kaka showed his class and determination in shaking off challenges from Barry and Jenas before attempting to release Fabiano but Bridge was alert to the situation.

Felipe Melo got the better of a tussle with Upson but overran the ball and Foster was able to hack clear, albeit in unconvincing fashion.

Kaka was pulling the strings and the Real Madrid star picked out the overlapping Michel Bastos whose cross-cum-shot fizzed just past Foster's left hand post.

Melo then showed neat skill to create space for himself on the edge of the box but his shot sailed straight at Foster.

Kaka forced Foster to save away to his left with an angled drive after linking up well again with Fabiano as the half ended goalless.

But it needed only 90 seconds of the second half for Brazil to break the deadlock through Nilmar.

Elano's dipping cross picked out the run of Nilmar, who got in between Lescott and Upson before arrowing his header past the dive of Foster into the corner of the net.

Bent had little opportunity to impress before he was substituted after 54 minutes and replaced by Jermain Defoe.

A minute later Brazil had a golden chance to double their lead when goalscorer Nilmar was brought down in the area by Foster after Wes Brown had attempted to chest the ball back to him.

Foster was shown a yellow card but England were given a reprieve when Fabiano sent his spot-kick high over the crossbar.

There was little to enthuse about in a low-key finale to the game as both teams made several substitutions, although Lucio crashed a shot against the post.

There was time for Capello to bring on Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone, who replaced Barry.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk