Nilmar header sinks England

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Wayne Rooney's first game as England captain ended in defeat as a severely depleted line-up were beaten 1-0 by Brazil in Qatar.

Fabio Capello's side fell victim to a goal early in the second period from Nilmar and were unable to find a response.

Luis Fabiano also missed a penalty for Brazil, who unsurprisingly dominated in terms of 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.

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 Joleon Lescott and Matthew Upson before arrowing his header past the dive of Foster into the corner of the net.

Brazil had a golden chance to double their lead in the 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 Luis 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.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Matthew Upson
Ben Foster
James Milner
Wes Brown
Premier League
Joleon Lescott
Wayne Rooney
Aston Villa
Darren Bent

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