Rio de Janeiro: England coach Roy Hodgson hailed his team’s performance in their 2-2 draw against Brazil at the Maracana. England rallied from 0-1 down to take the lead through second-half goals to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wayne Rooney, before Corinthians midfielder Paulinho equalised with a stunning late volley on Sunday night.
“It took a wonder strike from Paulinho to get Brazil back into it,” Hodgson was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “Sure, they will say they deserved that but I’m still satisfied with what we have done here. “We felt we were well worthy of the draw. The clever money would have had us struggling to get any sort of result, not least because of being down to the bare bones. It’s not easy to come here at the end of the season and play two hard games but I’m pleased we could finish the season, at least in our eyes, on a good note.”
Hodgson admitted Brazil had “clearly been better” in the first half but praised his side’s spirited revival following the introduction of Chamberlain as a 60th-minute substitute. “In the second half we were every bit as good as them and we take lot of credit for that,” Hodgson said. “Most teams, managers and coaches know that when you come to Brazil they will have more of the ball and create more chances. The question is if you can deal with it and come away with a result, and that’s what we have done.”
Brazilian striker Fred said: “The team did well; the spirit was wonderful on and off the pitch. The fans put on a great party and supported us, and that is very important. That makes us think that the whole match was very good, regardless of the draw.”