David Beckham was denied a winning return for England as Diego headed a late equaliser to earn Brazil a 1-1 friendly international draw on Friday.
But Beckham has always had a flair for the dramatic and it was almost inevitable that he marked his first appearance for England since last year's World Cup by setting up John Terry's second half opener.
The Real Madrid midfielder had been recalled by McClaren just 10 months after the coach had sent him into international exile and the gamble paid instant dividends at Wembley.
England captain Terry had promised Beckham, winning his 95th cap, that he would allow him to take over the captaincy when he makes his 100th appearance and Beckham quickly returned the favour.
His perfectly-weighted free-kick allowed Terry to head home in the second half before Diego robbed England of their first win over Brazil in 17 years with a stoppage time strike.
Beckham has remained a firm favourite with the England fans and his name was greeted with an ear-splitting roar when the team was read out just before kick-off.
England were back at Wembley after seven years' waiting for the national stadium to be rebuilt. This was the new 800 million pound arena's first senior international and the 88,000 crowd gave McClaren's team a rapturous welcome home.