'Ox' earns Hodgson plaudits
By Football News
Roy Hodgson has praised the contribution of goal-scoring substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in England's 2-2 draw against Brazil.
Fred had opened the scoring just after half-time for the home side, before Arsenal's 19-year-old midfielder came off the bench to equalise with a volley.
Wayne Rooney looked to have secured an unlikely victory with his deflected effort to make it 2-1, 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, sparking the 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," Hodgson 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."
Having weathered a first-half storm and then come from behind to lead at the Maracana Stadium, Hodgson was left to rue his team's inability to hold onto their lead.
"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," he said.
"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."
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was impressed by his team's display in the opening 45 minutes, but felt they allowed England too much room to play after the break.
"We were exceptional in the first half in terms of positioning, but in the second half we did the one thing that I do not like - we gave them too much space," he said.
"We allowed England to dominate, play their game and to score goals.
"The fans expected us to win. They wanted goals, they wanted this, they wanted that, but they do not realise how hard it is to play against England.
"They have many experienced players and they are already a complete team."