• England v Brazil

Hodgson hails Wilshere and Walcott

ESPN staff
February 6, 2013
Wayne Rooney was on target for England © PA Photos

England coach Roy Hodgson said he was delighted with his team's display as they beat Brazil 2-1 in a prestige friendly at Wembley.

Goals from Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard earned the win for England - only their fourth over the five-time World Cup winners, for whom Fred had equalised.

Hodgson told BBC Radio Five Live: "It's my first crack at Brazil as a manager, and I'm delighted to have been able to oversee a victory. It was an all-round performance from the team, there were some very, very good moments and I thought we were good value for two goals to one.''

Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott, whose shot was parried into Rooney's path for the opener, earned Hodgson's praise. The coach said he had attempted to shield Wilshere from pre-match hype, but added: "If he can keep up that level of performance, he will soon justify all the expectations and hopes because he was very, very good.

"So was Theo Walcott. He terrorised the left side of their defence, was involved in the first goal and there were so many other occasions when he was within a hair's breadth of scoring or creating a chance.''

Ashley Cole won his 100th international cap but was replaced by Leighton Baines at half-time, with Hodgson revealing that the change had been made because of a minor injury.

"I wasn't intending to take Ashley off at half-time but he was feeling a problem in his hamstring, which may actually be coming from his back," he explained. "He would have soldiered on if it was a qualifier, but I didn't want to send him back to Chelsea any more injured.''

Frank Lampard also praised Wilshere, who was named as man of the match, telling ITV: "He is a fantastic player. He's got quality on the ball, technical ability and the speed to get away from people. He's going to be a massive player for England - and in the world.

"The lads deserve a lot of credit because Brazil can't half move the ball. There was a lot of work-rate there. We have played some good games against lesser opposition, but I thought we did very well. We could have scored more.

"The important thing is the [World Cup] group matches. We've got to get to Brazil. But if we continue with that attitude and get a bit more flow to our game, we should be alright.''

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