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Brazil draw with England

Brazil’s unimpressive World Cup preparations woes continue as they failed to beat England.

The Brazil vs England friendly was played at the newly reopened Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana football stadium. Picture: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO - Five-times world champions Brazil extended their unimpressive run of results on Sunday when they scrambled a 2-2 draw with England in a friendly at the rebuilt and newly reopened Maracana.

The 2014 World Cup hosts produced probably their best 45 minutes since Luiz Felipe Scolari took over as coach last November as they pulled England apart in the first half but failed to score.

The second half was a different story and they needed an 82nd minute equaliser from midfielder Paulinho to rescue them, three minutes after Wayne Rooney gave England a shock lead on their first visit to Brazil since their famous win at the old version of the stadium in 1984.

Brazil, whose last match at the old Maracana was a goalless draw against Colombia in a World Cup qualifier in 2008, have drawn four of their six games since 2002 World Cup winner Scolari returned for a second stint.

Their only win was against Bolivia and their only defeat against England at Wembley in February.

With Brazil's preparations for next year's tournament plagued by delays and political rows, attention was focused as much on the venue as the match itself.

England's visit marked the end of a long drawn-out, $500-million programme to modernise the arena which will host seven matches at the 2014 World Cup, including the final.

Brazil opened up the England defence almost at will in the first half, forcing goalkeeper Joe Hart to make a series of brilliant saves.

England then enjoyed a purple patch, creating several chances, before Rooney collected the ball near the touchline, cut inside and scored with a looping, deflected effort from around 25 metres in the 79th minute.

Brazil were heading for their first home defeat since they were beaten by Paraguay in 2002 until Paulinho cleverly hooked in the equaliser.

US SURPRISE GERMANY

Clint Dempsey scored twice as the United States held on to beat a below-strength Germany 4-3 in a friendly on Sunday, giving American coach Juergen Klinsmann victory over his former homeland.

Dempsey's second half double provided the Americans with a commanding 4-1 lead before Germany responded with two late strikes in a seven-goal international at RFK Stadium in Washington DC.

The Americans, celebrating the centenary of the US Football Federation, had grabbed the lead in the 13th minute thanks to a powerful volley from Jozy Altidore, his first goal for his country since November 2011.

Four minutes later, the advantage was doubled via an error by German keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who allowed a routine back pass from Benedikt Hoewedes into the net.

Germany rebounded strongly pulling one back in the 51st minute.

Two goals from Dempsey gave the US a three-goal lead.

Kruse was given time to turn and shoot on the edge of the area in the 78th minute before Julian Draxler scored three minutes later.

The US held on for a morale boosting win after their 4-2 loss to Belgium in Cleveland on Wednesday ahead of three World Cup qualifiers, starting with Jamaica in Kingston on Friday.

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