England's final preparations for Euro 2000 got underway with a friendly against Brazil. The game showed encouraging signs for the home team, but also concern about the defence. Still, England were without an injured Tony Adams and McManaman was rested after playing in the Champions League mid-week.
After a 30 minute delay, due to transport problems, the game finally kicked-off. Brazil had the first opportunity of the match in the 2nd minute, but Sol Campbell cleared the danger for England following an unconvincing clearance by David Seaman. England's first chance of the game came a minute later when Beckham crossed the ball to Keown but the Arsenal defender headed the ball straight at Dida.
A mistake by Shearer in the middle of the field almost cost England a goal in the 6th minute, but Rivaldo fired the ball high over the crossbar after Cafu and Cesar Sampaio linked-up in England's half. England's best chance of the game so far came in the 21st minute when Dennis Wise, Beckham and Ince created play in midfield, leaving Ince to shoot, however Dida managed to put the ball out for a corner.
Owen almost scored just after the 30 minute mark when he pounced on a back pass to Dida. The Brazilian goalkeeper was forced to make a save to prevent Owen tearing away with the ball and towards an open net.
With 7 minutes of the first half of play remaining, England took the lead through Michael Owen. A throw-in by Gary Neville was flicked-on by Beckham
and Shearer, and Owen was there in the penalty area to shoot the ball into the net, and passed a sprawling Dida.
Unfortunately's England's lead only lasted 5 minutes when Franca headed the ball into the goal following a corner. Seaman initially came off his line to catch the ball, but the ball went over his head and Franca was free to head the ball past Gary Neville who was standing on the goal-line.
The second half passed with little excitment except from the Brazilians. Ince was forced to leave the field after 60 minutes had passed due to injury, Ray Parlour replaced the Middlesbrough midfielder.
Brazil looked the brighter of the teams in the second half with England rarely threatening. Denilson looked a menace a number of times but he was denied by Seaman and by poor placement of the ball. The game faded out with a draw. Keegan now will look to the next game, a friendly on Wednesday against the Ukraine, to try out more players in a bid to find the winning combination for Euro 2000.
Seaman, P Neville, Campbell, Keown, G Neville, Wise, Scholes, Ince (Parlour 60 mins - replaced by Barmby 90 mins), Beckham, Shearer (Fowler 84 mins), Owen (Phillips 84 mins).
Subs Not Used: Barry, Southgate, Martyn. (Full Squad)
Dida, Cafu, A Carlos (Carvalho 81 mins), Aldair, Cesar Sampaio, Silvinho (R Carlos 60 mins), Amoroso (Denilson 68 mins),
Emerson, Franca, Rivaldo, Ze Roberto.
Subs Not Used: Burgos, Husain, C Lopez.
England Goal: Owen (39 mins)
Brazil Goal: Franca (45 mins)
Referee: R Wojcik (Poland)