Nilmar nods Brazil winner vs England

DOHA - A second half goal by Villarreal forward Nilmar gave Brazil a deserved 1-0 victory in a friendly against a weakened England team at the Khalifa Stadium on Saturday.

Brazil took the lead two minutes after the break when the striker connected with a sublime ball by Elano from midfield and headed firmly past England goalkeeper Ben Foster.

The Brazilians should have doubled their lead less then 10 minutes later but Luis Fabiano missed from the penalty spot after Foster had brought the striker down following a mistake by the keeper's Manchester United team-mate Wes Brown.

Brazil captain Lucio then struck a thunderous shot against the post in the 77th, while England's chances were limited to a shot over the bar by James Milner and a long range effort from skipper Wayne Rooney straight at goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

England, hit by a series of injuries to key players ahead of the match, applied early pressure but Kaka and fellow forward Fabiano were a constant menace to a hard-worked defence.

England defender John Terry was ruled out late on with an Achilles injury, giving Rooney his first chance to captain the side. England were also without midfielders Steven Gerrard and the injured Frank Lampard and Michael Carrick.

"I was very proud to be captain for the first time but it was a disappointing night for us," said Rooney. "The first half was OK, but we did not play as well in the second half."

The win ensured Brazil, who were missing injured defender Juan and forward Robinho, continued their good run with their eighth straight unbeaten game against England, who last enjoyed a victory over the South American side in 1990.

"I learned a lot about Brazil. This is a really good team. the strongest in the world now," England coach Fabio Capello told a news conference. "I learned that we need to be 100 percent physically and really strong."