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Wednesday Kickoff: Gerrard laments England result; Suarez ignites controversy again; and more

StevenGerrardEngland (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

England looked to be on the way to an important victory away from home after the first 45 minutes of the match. The second 45 however, were a different story.

Three Lions midfielder Steven Gerrard has rued the result for England, saying that some players on the side stopped playing for “20 or 30 minutes” once the second half began. The England captain had boosted his side’s chances before the match, but his teammates let the nation down, conceding a goal in the 76th minute.

Meanwhile, manager Roy Hodgson has generated controversy, saying that he and his coaching staff didn’t believe that there was a need to make a change while England was up 1-0 even though their form in the second half was poor. However, Hodgson has reminded fans and media alike that England still control their own destiny as long as they can get wins and not draws.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

REFEREE MISSES SUAREZ PUNCH

Chile picked up an important 2-0 win on Tuesday over Uruguay, but La Celeste were probably lucky that they didn’t go down a man in the 35th minute.

Luis Suarez, no stranger to controversy, gave Chilean defender Gonzalo Jara a nice punch in the face, over Suarez’s left shoulder, as the two tussled ahead of a corner kick. The referee missed the incident, but booked the Liverpool forward in the 58th minute for dissent. The yellow card for Suarez means that he’s now suspended for Uruguay’s next match against Venezuela.

It is unknown at the moment if Suarez will face further punishment for his actions. Though the 27-year-old was held scoreless, he has scored eight goals in ten matches in World Cup 2014 qualifying for Uruguay.

GÖTZE TALKS UP POTENTIAL MAN UNITED MOVE

Manchester United are always looking for the latest stars around the world, and they’d be hard-pressed to find a better plan than the diminutive Borussia Dortmund midfielder.

Mario Götze, scorer of two goals in the last two matches for Germany, has said that he would be interested in a switch to the red side of Manchester. He also named Barcelona and Real Madrid as potential teams to move to in the future, alerting the heads of those clubs.

The German club’s sporting director, Michael Zorc, has talked down any future move, referring to a recent four-year contract extension signed by the 20-year-old midfielder. Götze came through the Dortmund side in 2010 as at the age of seventeen, leading the club to a title and German Cup last season.

At the moment, Götze is a Dortmund player, scoring eight goals and five assists in 24 Bundesliga matches this season. Dortmund are currently sitting second in the table.

QUICK KICKS

Bob Bradley and his Egypt side defeated Zimbabwe 2-1 for their third win in three matches. (REPORT)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been cleared by UEFA to face Barcelona in the Champions League. (REPORT)

Jerome Boateng, brother of Kevin-Prince Boateng, has said he is proud of his brother’s stand against racism in soccer. (REPORT)

Robin Van Persie’s two goals against Romania have moved him ahead of the legendary Johan Cruyff, with 34 goals all time for Holland. (REPORT)

Jose Mourinho has called a return to England “inevitable”. (REPORT)

—————

What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with Gerrard’s comments? See Suarez being punished by CONMEBOL? Do you see Götze moving to England?

Share your thoughts below.

34 comments
  • HEB

    Good for Suarez. Every player that defends a corner kick by hugging the attacker deserves a punch to the face…and that was a good one.

    Like

    • Raymon

      You really think that Suarez was entitled to punch that player in the face? I further disagree that it was a good one….the defender barely flinched. Suarez barely picked that guy’s boogers.

      Like

      • Rory

        Suarez is one of the dirtiest players in the world. I’m surprised he didn’t fall down from the guy’s face “hurting” his hand.

        I agree the holding on corners thing is ridiculous nowadays, but that can be resolved quickly by a ref giving a PK for it.

        Like

      • HEB

        Have you seen a ref give a pk for that? They just don’t do it and the hugging-grabbing in the box is getting ridiculous.

        Like

      • HEB

        Did you watch the game? The Jara looked dazzled for a couple of seconds.
        BTW, what the defender is doing is just as illegal as what Suarez did. No room to complain which, to his credit, he didn’t .
        He played one hell of a game.

        Like

      • Raymon

        No I didnt watch the game, just the link in the article. Thanks to you, I have more respect for Suarez’ MMA fist now.
        Yes, I agree that the hugging was illegal. It happens all the time and almost never gets called. But punching in the face does deserve punishment, which I hope Suarez gets. I am surprised that standup guys like Gerrard, Brendan Rogers, Carragher and Lucas Leiva can play with him every week.

        Like

    • Neruda

      There would punches thrown every game if we applied your logic. Chile was the better side and Suarez should be given an extra game ban in qualifying.

      Like

    • Roberto

      As a chilean, i just want to punch you so badfor saying that. And suarez is just lime all uruguayans; mafioso scums

      Like

    • Jonathon

      To be clear, the defender’s actions were slightly more than hugging Suarez. He grabbed a bit of little Suarez, too.

      Like

  • fischy

    “Jose Mourinho has called a return to England, “inevitable”. ”

    Just like the iceberg Titanic hit.

    Like

    • The Imperative Voice

      There are a lot of CFC fans eager for his return. The rumor is he’s simultaneously cooking up CFC and PSG deals, so CFC may be a pawn, but if he does end up there his years were the club’s golden era.

      Like

      • William the Terror

        Or, maybe he is seriously considering coaching both teams simultaneously. He is the Special One, after all.

        Like

  • The Imperative Voice

    I don’t think the England team I saw play was any better than we are. [How do you like them apples?] And Montenegro is a decent team playing at home.

    Like

  • DC Josh

    Gotze: “I want to play at either Barcelona, Manchester United, or Real Madrid; the bidding will begin at 20 million euros, and I prefer a palatial estate by the water.”

    Tough life.

    Like

  • Chupacabra

    Too many WC placements are allocated to European teams. The fact that sacrificial lambs like San Marino and Luxembourg are playing in qualifying matches is a joke. European qualifying should be set up like CONCACAF qualifying, with the minnows weeded out in preliminary tournaments. Europe’s allocation should also be cut to 10 places from the current 13, with an extra allocation given to South America, Africa, and CONCACAF.

    England’s group is a joke, and the fact that England is struggling proves that their ranking is extremely overinflated thanks to their numerous competitive matches versus the likes of San Marino, Malta, the Faroe Islands, and Andorra.

    Like

    • HoboMike

      So 60% of the South American countries should get WC berths?

      I’d argue that FIFA currently gives one too many places to Africa as it is.

      Like

    • yikes

      but that would hurt world class footballers like Rooney scoring against a country with the population of Little Rock, Arkansas. Rooney needs his stats dude

      Like

  • Vic

    As Alexi Lalas said to Steve McMannaman during the world cup broadcast in 2010 about England: “there just not that good”.

    Like

  • Rory

    UEFA seriously needs to have a preliminary round where the minnows play against each other and then only a few go on to the group stage. I know this won’t happen because San Marino and all the other small countries need the revenue of having an England or Spain come to play there, but it would do wonders for increasing the level of play even amongst the weaker nations that would have a chance to really build for something and measure their improvement by accomplishing winning the minnows round instead of guessing at their improvement based on how bad their top level opponents want to run up the score.

    Like

  • yikes

    I know Gotze is just 5’9 but is that really dimunitive? i could understand if he was 5’6 or so. Yes I know average Germans are like shy of 6 feet but still come on.

    Like

  • yikes

    Face it, England you are a top 10 football nation with the best league in the world but your only hope from now is to continue to qualify for tournaments and then wiped out in the quarters. No shame in that

    Like

  • Dainja

    Thanks for the link about Egypt winning. I’d love to see a full story on each of Coach Bradley’s games. I know it sounds funny, but I sort of consider him an American Abroad! He may not have been the best coach for us, but I’m proud of the how he’s representing us overseas. So I guess….GO GO EGYPT! ha

    Like

    • Raymon

      He is an American professional footballer abroad. Nothing funny about it, it’s true. And he’s paving the way for others to follow. We can export our coaches as well as our GKS and players.

      Like

  • ChrisTheLSUTiger

    Can someone tell Dan that he doesn’t need apostrophes to make something plural? This is the second article I’ve seen where he does this.
    “Chile picked up an important 2-0 win on Tuesday over Uruguay, but the *Uruguayan’s* are probably lucky that they didn’t go down a man in the 35th minute.”

    Like

  • Samurai

    England is just not as good as they think they are. When they finally realize that, things might change. It seems like some English people feel entitled to win games because of the country’s contribution to developing the games modern rules (they didn’t create the sport, Native Americans played a earlier form of the game). Other European national teams have improved their programs, England needs to get with the times.

    Like

  • Four Cents

    I’m not a big fan of Suarez, but if someone pinches me in the nuts- I’m, at the least, poppin them hard in the mouth. If you watch the clip from a different angle, you can see Jara move his hand down to pinch Suarez in the family jewels- Not cool.. Anyways, LETS GO YOU YANKS!!!

    Like

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