Top 5 England goals vs Brazil & goal method trends

Can the Three Lions add to the list of top 5 England goals vs Brazil as the international giants meet at Wembley on Saturday?

The Seleção travel to North London to take on England for the first time since 2017, with new manager Dorival Júnior hoping to make a strong first impression. England have plenty to prove too. Gareth Southgate’s side are aiming for a first victory over their South American opponents in 11 years.

Below, we revisit some of the top 5 England goals vs Brazil and assess how the contest could unfold between the footballing greats at Wembley.

Top 5 England goals vs Brazil & goal method trends

5. Gary Lineker (1990)

Former England, Everton, Barcelona, Spurs and Leicester City forward Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker led England to a 1-0 victory over Brazil in 1990 – Photo by Icon Sport

Before England’s infamous semi-final run at Italia 90, the Three Lions hosted Brazil at Wembley in a warm-up friendly match.

There was plenty of hope for a talented England side under Bobby Robson. Generational talents of Paul Gasgoine, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Chris Waddle all started against the Seleção.

In an even match, supreme poacher Gary Lineker had the final say with a classic number nine’s finish. Mid-way through the first half, Beardsley swung a corner towards the near post that was flicked into the penalty area.

Even with the ball at an awkward height, Lineker stooped to head into the bottom corner. Robson’s side then held onto their 1-0 lead and closed out just a third-ever win against Brazil.

Many more quality English strikers are in contention to face Brazil on Saturday as Ivan Toney and Ollie Watkins push for a starting spot. The attacking promise could lead to an early England goal and the hosts are backed at 10/13 to strike first at Wembley.

4. Michael Owen (2002)

Michael Owen is considered one of the best English strikers ever
Michael Owen opened the scoring in England and Brazil's only previous World Cup meeting – Photo by Icon Sport

Although England and Brazil regularly reach the latter stages of World Cups, the nations have surprisingly met just once in the competition’s knockout rounds.

The only previous World Cup meeting came in the 2002 quarter-final. England entered the contest as underdogs against a world-class Brazil side containing some of the best-ever in Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho.

However, England stunned Luiz Felipe Scolari’s outfit with a 23rd-minute opener. One of England’s most prolific strikers of the time, Michael Owen, seized on Edmilson’s poor touch and chipped over goalkeeper Marcos to send the English fans into delirium. It was a well-taken finish from the former Liverpool and Real Madrid man in his trademark finishing style.

Sven-Göran Eriksson’s side couldn’t contain the electric Brazilian front three though and conceded either side of the half time to endure another early World Cup elimination.

Like Own, some of the current crop of English forwards will be looking to make a fast start against Brazil at Wembley. As a result, a quick Three Lions goal could arrive this weekend and a strike between 21-30 minutes has odds of 11/2.

3. Frank Lampard (2013)

After a Lineker-inspired England beat Brazil in 1990, the Three Lions went through a barren 23-year spell without defeating the Seleção.

England eventually overcame their eight-match winless streak at Wembley in 2013. Wayne Rooney opened the scoring on 27 minutes with a tap-in before Fred restored parity just after the break.

With 30 minutes remaining, England pushed hard for a winner and midfielder Frank Lampard curled in a stunning strike from the edge of the area to seal the victory. The former Chelsea man raced on to meet Rooney’s lay-off and whipped into the top corner past Júlio César.

Another late England goal could be on the horizon on Saturday and the hosts are back to score last at 10/3.

2. Wayne Rooney (2013)

Just four months after England triumphed at Wembley thanks to Lampard’s winner, Roy Hodgson’s outfit travelled to the Maracana in June 2013 for another encounter against Brazil.

Despite a cagey first half, England’s foe from four months prior, Fred, struck first just after the break. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain levelled to scores to set up an end-to-end finale.

Rooney then capped a rapid English counter-attack with a sensational dipping strike from 20 yards out that left goalkeeper Júlio César rooted to the spot with 11 minutes left. It was a strike worthy of winning any match, but Hodgson’s side couldn’t hold on as Paulinho equalised three minutes later as the sides drew 2-2.

Plenty of English and Brazilian attacking talent will take to the pitch on Saturday. Vinicius Junior, Phil Foden, Richarlison and Jude Bellingham are just some of the world-class players in contention to feature. A high scorer could therefore unfold and there are 16/1 odds for another 2-2 draw.

1. John Barnes (1984)

John Barnes' solo goal gave England the lead over Brazil in 1984 – Photo by Icon Sport

England were given little hope of defeating Brazil at the Maracanã in 1984. The Three Lions headed to Rio de Janeiro having achieved just one victory over the South American heavyweights in 12 previous meetings from 28 years earlier in 1956.

But Bobby Robson’s side produced a stunning display to edge Brazil 2-0 in this international friendly. The Three Lions were led to victory by a very Brazil-esque goal from John Barnes on the stroke of half time.

Just before the break, the former Liverpool man received the ball on the halfway line and turned to face Brazil's goal. Despite a few hacking tackle attempts, Barnes skipped past four yellow-clad defenders, raced into the area and slipped the ball past Roberto Costa and into the net.

England were subsequently booed off the Maracanã pitch following Barnes’ moment of inspiration. This seemed to inspire Robson’s side to their only victory in Brazil to date, as Mark Hateley scored a decisive second with 25 minutes remaining.

Can England notch just a third win to nil over the Seleção this Saturday? A home win without conceding has odds of 5/2 in the upcoming England vs Brazil clash.


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Alex Waite

Alex is a freelance sports writer with experience writing digital news, blogs, features, exlcusive interviews and SEO. He has a keen interest and knowledge of UK and European football, ATP and WTA tennis, cricket and boxing.