A late equaliser from Fred secured a draw for an off-colour Brazil in their match against Russia at Stamford Bridge. Victor Fayzulin had given Russia the lead with a scrappy goal with a little over 15 minutes remaining and that had looked to have been enough to settle the match.
Over 35,000 fans were in attendance at the home of reigning European champions Chelsea saw the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ hosts struggle defensively throughout the contest, while the likes of Neymar and Kaka could not stamp enough authority on the game.
Fayzulin's third goal for Russia came with a little over 15 minutes remaining after the Brazilians struggled to clear their lines before Fluminense forward Fred tapped home a 90th-minute equaliser.
Julio Cesar was forced into a save after just three minutes when Sergey Ignashevich arrowed a low free-kick towards goal, with the QPR goalkeeper pushing the ball away. Another set-piece led to a mix-up in the Brazilian backline with Dani Alves clearing behind his own goal.
The resulting corner was cleared only as far as Vasily Berezutskiy whose shot appeared to hit the arm of Fernando Lucas inside the box but referee Howard Webb was unmoved. The ball squirted off Lucas's arm into the path of Aleksandr Kerzhakov, but the Zenit striker fired wide when well placed.
Fabio Capello's Russia continued to dominate from set-pieces as yet another corner was not dealt with by the Brazilian defence and only a last-ditch slide from Hernanes stopped Kerzhakov's goal-bound effort at the back post.
Vladimir Bystrov was the next to try his luck in the 15th minute but Cesar kept out his 22-yard shot with ease as Brazil struggled to mount any sort of attacking threat in the opening stages.
Ignashevich body-checked Marcelo to give Brazil a chance to test the Russians with a set-piece of their own but, after the original free-kick had been cleared, Alexander Anyukov made a brave interception on Oscar's cross to deny Fred tapping home as Brazil started to work their way back into the game.
Neymar, who had been on the periphery of the match, burst through onto a through ball but could only shoot wide of Vladimir Gabulov's right-hand post.
Russia had gone off the boil after their blistering start to the game but Fayzulin injected some much-needed pace with half-time approaching.
The Zenit winger skipped over the challenge of Lucas before releasing Kerzhakov down the left flank, Fayzulin ran on to collect the ball just inside the area but Cesar tipped his resulting effort behind, although Webb incorrectly awarded a goal-kick.
Second half opens quietly
The second half started at a much slower pace than the first and it was Brazil who shaded the possession without truly testing Gabulov, with Marcelo's 64th-minute shot comfortably held by the Anzhi goalkeeper.
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. Neymar came close with a curling effort moments later but he could not get enough on the ball to beat Gabulov.
Hernanes picked up the first caution of the game as he jumped into Andrei Yeschenko after the ball had gone.
Fayzulin's goal came seconds later after a melee inside the Brazilian penalty area. A number of players dallying in possession, as well as a clearance off the line from Hernanes, meant that Brazil looked like surviving the most threatening Russian attack of the second half.
But Hernanes could only find Fayzulin with his clearance and the winger coolly converted from 12 yards out. 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.
Former Chelsea full-back Yuri Zhirkov did not have a happy return to his old ground as the 29-year-old was forced off with a hamstring problem late on after being introduced by former England boss Capello at half-time.
Yeschenko was booked for a cynical foul on Hulk on the edge of the Russian penalty area with just three minutes remaining but Hernanes attempted to score from an almost impossible angle and fired high and wide as a result.
The equalising goal came on Brazil's next attack with Fred tapping home after Marcelo's ball across the face of goal.
Neither side could find a dramatic late winner as Capello and Scolari had to settle for a draw on their respective returns to London.