Brazil 1-1 Russia: Fred grabs last-minute equaliser at Stamford Bridge
Brazil striker Fred grabbed a last-minute goal to salvage a draw against Russia at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
Although their World Cup qualifier with Northern Ireland was postponed twice at the weekend, Russia began positively and called Júlio César into action after just three minutes.
The Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper got down well to save a powerful long range free-kick from Sergei Ignashevich.
Russia had a penalty shout early on when Vasily Berezutskiy's effort appeared to hit the arm of Fernando inside the box, but referee Howard Webb was not interested.
Fabio Capello’s side dominated the early exchanges and went close from a corner, with only a last-ditch Hernanes block denying Alexander at the back post.
Brazil settled and caused a few problems of their own, particularly from set-pieces, but Neymar was unable to test the Russian goalkeeper despite his chances before the half-hour mark.
Dani Alves saw a lot of the ball during the half and broke quickly on the counter-attack after Fayzulin was stopped in his tracks.
However, Neymar dwelt on the ball for too long and was eventually crowded out before a chance could be created.
Moments later a teasing cross from Marcelo was inches away from connecting with Fred’s outstretched leg just in front of goal.
The Real Madrid defender, who came in at left-back ahead of Filipe Luís, was Brazil’s most threatening player throughout the first half.
Fayzulin had a great chance when a neat pass from Kerzhakov fooled the Brazilian defence but Cesar parried his strike into the side netting.
Fred attempted an audacious but weak back-heel from the edge of the area before Russia went down the other end of the pitch and Kerzhakov blazed over the bar, which summed up the first 45 minutes.
The Seleção pushed forward after the restart with Kaká leading the charge, earning his side a corner which Chelsea’s David Luiz narrowly stabbed wide.
The Chelsea centre-back had an opportunity to test goalkeeper Gabulov with a set-piece after Neymar was brought down.
However, Luiz, who is known for his powerful free-kicks, blasted the ball straight into the wall, which left Berezutski requiring treatment.
Luiz Felipe Scolari, returning to Chelsea for the first time since his sacking in 2009, introduced Zenit striker Hulk with just over 20 minutes remaining with Blues midfielder Oscar making way.
Unfortunately for Scolari though it was Capello’s side who eventually broke the deadlock when Fayzulin found the net just seconds after the substitution.
The Zenit midfielder coolly slotted home after a goal-mouth scramble in which Hernanes cleared off the line.
Brazil almost hit back immediately but Marcelo saw his powerful strike flash past the post with Lucas only picking out Gabulov with a long-range effort moments later.
Hulk was impressive on the left and played a number of dangerous crosses into the box as well as earning his side a free-kick right on the edge of the area, which Hernanes fired over from an impossible angle.
The Brazilian striker was the linchpin in the Seleção’s next move as he played a fantastic defence-splitting pass to free Marcelo down the left, whose low pass across the face of goal was tapped home by Fred in the 90th-minute.
Despite the Fluminense striker's heroics, Scolari remains without a win in his second spell in charge of Brazil, while Russia are now unbeaten in eight games under former England boss Capello.