England can beat Brazil, insists Cahill

The defender believes the Three Lions can replicate their win over the five-time world champions from February, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rued his late miss against Ireland
England defender Gary Cahill has backed the Three Lions to beat Brazil on Sunday after triumphing over the five-time world champions in February.

The Chelsea man teamed up with Phil Jagielka in the centre of defence for the first time as the Three Lions were held to a 1-1 draw by Republic of Ireland on Wednesday, but pointed to an improved second-half performance as reason to be confident heading to Maracana.

Goals from Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard gave England a deserved 2-1 win over Brazil in February, and Cahill is looking for more of the same in four days' time.

"We know the task ahead is going to be hard, they are playing at home," Cahill told reporters. "We’re playing a way at the end of a long season so it’s going to be tough for us be we played some good football against them at home. Hopefully we can out in a similar performance.

Shane Long gave Ireland a 13th-minute lead before Lampard equalised soon after, and the visitors had David Forde to thank for thwarting late efforts from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott - and Cahill commended the goalkeeper's performance.

He continued: "They made it tough for us but, nevertheless, I thought we got in behind them five, six times, maybe just the final ball across the box [let us down] and their ‘keeper has pulled off a couple of great saves so he’s had a great game.

"We knew it was going to be tough. They’ve got character in their team, they work really hard. They back up [each other] for the second balls, we sort of expected that.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had netted twice in his previous 10 games ahead of the match, rued his miss and admitted his finishing is an aspect of his approach he is looking to improve.

Speaking to reporters after the game, the 19-year-old, who had scored two goals in 10 games prior to tonight, said: "I was a little bit disappointed with my finish. It’s something I want to be able to improve on in my game and chances like that I want to be able to stick away.

"Next time I’ll just have to make sure that I do. Theo [Walcott] had a chance and missed as well but overall the play in the second half around the box was positive, we can take a lot from that. In the end we’re disappointed to come up short and not come away with a win."