Paulinho's 82nd minute volley denied England a repeat of their 1984 heroics after an entertaining draw with Brazil at the Maracana in Rio.
Joe Hart saved from Neymar, Hulk and Oscar in the first half but was powerless to prevent Fred opening the scoring after the break, after Hernanes' initial shot struck the crossbar.
England were level through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's blistering strike and when Wayne Rooney curled home with 12 minutes left on the clock, the visitors were dreaming of another famous win.
But Paulinho produced a moment of Brazilian magic was a superbly struck volley as the spoils were shared following a game in which both sides can consider themselves fortunate to have salvaged a draw.
The pre-match build-up had surrounded England's last win in Brazil in 1984, and the memories of John Barnes' fabulous goal in the Maracana, and Roy Hodgson was demanding a similarly mesmeric performance against the World Cup hosts following a lacklustre draw against Republic of Ireland in mid-week.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's side themselves had something of a point to prove having won one of their last seven games, and the new generation of Brazilian football were seeking to lay down a marker ahead of next year's crowning moment on home turf, not least the Confederations Cup later in June.
Spearheaded by Barcelona's newest recruit Neymar, the hosts began in energetic mood. The ex-Santos attacker bamboozled Glen Johnson before Hart sprawl to save, while the Manchester City stopper again came to England's rescue to dive at Hulk's feet after Neymar's threaded pass.
Oscar was then denied from range as England continued to be wasteful in possession, with Michael Carrick and Phil Jones among the guilty party.
When the visitors did manufacture opportunities in the attacking third, Rooney and Theo Walcott's link up play was anything but telepathic, but the former was able to unleash an effort from range which David Luiz's valiantly blocked.
Julio Cesar, a bystander for much of the piece, was forced into one save in the first half as Johnson's reverse pass found Walcott, whose shot across the QPR 'keeper was easily held.
But Brazil ended the first half on the front foot, as Dani Alves' looped cross found the head of Fred, who couldn't test Hart from six yards.
Marcelo and Hernanes were introduced at the break, and the Lazio midfielder orchestrated the move which handed Brazil the lead after 58 minutes when his hanging shot struck the crossbar, and with Hart stranded, Fred hammered home the rebound.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was immediately introduced, with Phil Jones moved to full-back and Michael Carrick to an auxiliary centre-back position, and England almost levelled first as James Milner's shot was deflected off Thiago Silva and then as Rooney headed wide unmarked from the resulting corner.
The Brazilians were struggling to adapt to England change of shape and the away side took full advantage as Chamberlain, whose father Mark played in England's last win in Rio 29 years previous, rifled home from 25 yards.
And England thought they had a winner when Milner fed Rooney and as the Brazil defence were distracted by substitute Ashley Cole's bursting run, the Manchester United forward curled home into the far corner for his 36 international goal.
However, hopes Hodgson's side had of repeating the heroics of 1984 were dashed with eight minutes left as Paulinho dispatched the sweetest of volleys past Hart from Lucas Moura's cross as Scolari's side snatched a draw.