Roy Hodgson has praised the contribution of second-half substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in England's 2-2 draw against Brazil, though admitted he was disappointed to forfeit the lead so late in the game.
Fred had opened the scoring just after half-time for the home side, before Arsenal's 19-year-old attacker equalised with a viscous volley. Wayne Rooney looked to have secured a shock victory until Paulinho levelled for the hosts.
Brazil had been dominant in the first half, but England responded well in the second period and Hodgson credited Oxlade-Chamberlain with bringing energy and attacking intent in the middle of the pitch as the Three Lions sparked a comeback.
“Alex of course is lively, he gets on the ball and he gets turned around and I thought even before that our game was looking much, much better in the second half,” the Three Lions boss told ITV.
“But Alex added another dimension and got his reward by scoring a very good goal.
“Phil Jones was doing an excellent job in there but of course Phil is much more of a defender playing in midfield, rather than an out-and-out midfield player.”
England were on the verge of an historic victory in Rio de Janeiro, which would have been their first on Brazilian soil since 1984, but were undone by Paulinho's 83rd minute volley.
And though the Three Lions were on the back foot for much of the match, and especially in the first half, Hodgson admitted he was disappointed that his side couldn't hang on to claim victory.
“I suppose I'm a bit disappointed today because we scored quite late on and we were playing so well in the second half I thought we might just hold onto it but we were scorched by a wonder strike,” the 65-year-old continued.
“I'd have to be honest and say we didn't play anywhere near as well in the first half as we'd like to play and Brazil did, so I suppose if you look at the game over the 90 minutes a draw was a fair result.”