Cold comfort for England

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-16 07:09

Cold comfort for England
Brazil's Gabriel Jesus wins a header against England's Jesse Lingard during Tuesday's international friendly match at Wembley Stadium in London. The match ended 0-0.Alastair Grant / AP

Brazil manager impressed by 'icy' opponents

LONDON - Tite came through his first European test as Brazil coach and was surprised at the resilience of an inexperienced England side.

"They were like ice," Tite said after Brazil was held 0-0 at Wembley on Tuesday. "They were really cold and never lost their minds."

England had also stayed cool on Friday against another of the world's leading teams when Germany was held to a scoreless draw in north London.

"We won't face a more difficult test than in the last two matches," England coach Gareth Southgate said.

"I'm probably more proud tonight because we played the best team in the world with a full team out. We've come out with a really credible result."

In a friendly of few chances in front of around 85,000 fans, either side could have earned victory in the final 15 minutes.

A long-range strike from Fernandinho shaved the post and Neymar fed Paulinho, who was denied at the near post by England goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Young Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke, making his England debut, then passed up a great opportunity in the closing stages when he failed to control an Ashley Young's cross, enabling goalkeeper Ramses Becker to collect.

Cold comfort for England

"We were playing the best team in the world at the moment. I thought they were brilliant," Hart said.

"They made it really hard for us and we had to adapt on the pitch ... the defensive backline were absolutely phenomenal tonight."

Southgate added: "Tonight we looked anxious with the ball, and I think that is a consequence of the threat from Brazil."

Brazil has only conceded five goals in its past 17 games and beat Japan 3-1 before traveling to London.

"Against Japan we tested ourselves against a more mobile and skilled team, against England we tested ourselves against a team of strong and tall players, very solid," said Tite, who was hired in June 2016. "This will help in preparations."

Step up

England conceded only three goals in qualifying for next year's World Cup but Germany and five-time world champion Brazil, which also easily qualified for the finals in Russia, represented a major step up in quality of opposition.

"We have come through with two clean sheets and the system has worked well," Southgate said.

"We limited both teams to very few clear-cut chances. When you put young players in you could get beaten by four and then you are questioning the decision.

"But they really stepped up in the two matches."

Brazil has won 13 of the 16 matches it has played since Tite became coach, but found England to be a tough nut to crack.

"They were very tight at the back," said substitute Fernandinho, of Manchester City, who came closest to scoring with a shot that glanced off the post.

"It was hard making chances in the first half. They were very well set up and that made it difficult for us. Both teams were well prepared and we managed to create some chances in the second half, while they had practically none."

It was the final game of the year for England and Brazil, with both now waiting to see who they will be paired with when the World Cup draw takes place next month.

"We can look at the areas we can improve and need to improve, but it's not going to get much tougher than it did tonight," said Southgate.

Both teams will be traveling to Russia trying to erase painful memories of the 2014 tournament.

For Brazil, there was the humiliating 7-1 exit to Germany in the semifinals on home soil - after which the team was booed off the pitch. England didn't even make it out of its group.

But at least both sides have qualified for Russia next year, unlike four-time champion Italy.

"History and T-shirts are not enough to take you to a World Cup," Tite said of Italy's failure to advance from the playoffs on Monday.

AP - Reuters

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349