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Suarez bags brace in return to inspire Uruguay to victory over England

Luis Suarez of Uruguay celebrates scoring a goal after making it 1-0

Photo by Ben Queenborough/


SAO PAULO — Luis Suarez may not be fully recovered from his recent knee injury, but he sure looked it.

Suarez led Uruguay to a 2-1 victory over England in a battle of Group D’s winless teams on Thursday night, bagging an impressive brace that included an 84th-minute winner. The decisive strike came nine minutes after Wayne Rooney had pulled England level, as Suarez raced in on goal before smashing the ball past Joe Hart.

The result at Arena de Sao Paulo gave the Uruguayans their first three points in the tournament and pulled them level with Italy and Costa Rica, who will play on Friday. England, meanwhile, stands on the brink of elimination with zero points through two games.

“He was voted the Player of the Year by almost everybody in England, by the sportswriters, by his own players, by the league managers association,” said England head coach Roy Hodgson. “He was the Player of the Year. Today, of course, he’s coming back from injury so he was to some extent quieter than we’re used to seeing him.

“But two chances came his way and, as a top player, he took his chances and that probably ended our chances of staying in the competition.”

Suarez netted his first in the match played in front of 62,575 fans in the 39th minute, getting on the end of a perfectly-lofted ball from Cavani and heading it magnificently to the far post.

England was the better team for large stretches in the first half, however, and were a bit unlucky to not open the scoring eight minutes earlier when a soaring Rooney nodded a corner kick off the crossbar from a yard out.

“Engand doesn’t have any weaknesses,” said Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez. “They’re really strong, their play from the midfield is incredible, they have 4 strikers who are all goal scorers and they are all over the field. They’re able to create opportunities for themselves and they know what to do when they reach the goal so that’s what we have prepared.”

Rooney was frustratingly denied in the 54th minute as well, as Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera smothered a shot from 10 yards out.

The English striker – who also came close with a free kick 10 minutes into the game – refused to leave the match without a goal. Rooney tapped home the equalizer in the 75th minute after some fine individual work and a low cross from right back Glen Johnson.

The English had a chance to take a lead two minutes later, but Muslera was all over Daniel Sturridge’s weak curler.

That opened the door for Suarez’s late winner. After another England attack ended without a goal, Muslera took his time sending a punt upfield so as to allow his teammates to get forward. The ball deflected off of Steven Gerrard and into the path of the streaking Suarez, who was clinical with his finish.

“For everything I have lived in these past few months, before anything, I have to dedicate this to the most important people in my life: my wife and my two children,” said Suarez. “For being with me through all of this and through the travel, ups and downs. I owe them for that.

“I also dedicate it to (Uruguay physiotherapist) Walter Ferreira. If not for him I wouldn’t be here right now today, and I also dedicate it to the coaching staff and my teammates because the strength they give me is impressive.”

One other talking point in the match came late in the second half when Alvaro Pereira took a knee to the face and appeared to be out cold before coming to his senses and walking to the sideline.

Uruguay’s medical staff requested a substitution, but Pereira adamantly shouted at the coaching staff from afar not to remove him. Pereira reentered the match shortly after and went the distance.


  1. This is one worse Uruguayan teams with depth, in past, Uruguay had at least 3 or 4 top level forwards, and at least two or three amazing playmakers. There’s even lack great defenders like Montero. Uruguayan league is semi-pro with over 90% clubs being from Montevideo.

  2. Quozzel – that is the best explanation yet of the English psyche regarding world class football. You see some players crying on the pitch following a loss, even a Group Stage loss that will not disqualify them! English players just look dejected, but NEVER devastated as others do when eliminated from the competition. It’s as if they play afraid not to lose as opposed to winning at all costs…

    • In EPL, there’s no World Class English defenders or midfielders, pretty much young generation isn’t at level older players like Terry or Beckham.

  3. I think it is pretty scary what happened with that uraguay player who was knocked out cold and pretty disgusting that no one is holding the coach responsible for literally risking his player’s life.

  4. I’ve been keeping track, England always looses to South American teams!! if they were in Conmebol they would NEVER qualify!! UK are So overrated in this country…why? the PL? S.A talent thats why

  5. England is not very good. They are grossly overrated. They are blissfully unaware of their technical shortcoming and think they are contenders.

    The US will win a World Cup before England because we know we need to work and will do so. England already thinks theryre contenders and won’t work. They are laughable.

      • Our country is based on the idea that anyone from anywhere can become an American

        The US doesnt have to apologize for that

        Maybe England should stop playing longballs like its 1966 and join the modern world

      • Actually the players are pretty good, and contrary to a comment a couple above, that includes fairly skilled.

        To me, they are a constant case of the whole being less than the sum of the parts, which in soccer, usually means poor tactics.

      • I’m not impressed with their skills at all. Other than Rooney & Walcott, whose World class? They are sub-par.

    • I think the biggest problem is desire. The English players just don’t have it, not on the International level.

      For most players on most teams, the World Cup means everything. Even the Germans seem to have something to prove; the Bundesliga is a good, tough league…but it is not quite as storied a league as the EPL, Serie A, or La Liga. And the Germans have always wanted to be #1 at everything anyway, it’s welded into their national psyche.

      To the English players, who already draw multi-million-pound paychecks playing for what is referred to by most everyone as “the toughest league on the planet”, ultimate success is defined as getting signed by Chelsea, Manchester United, etc…that’s as high as one can go in the profession, in the minds of the English. That the EPL has largely become a showcase for highly-paid foreign imports only solidifies that view…the best, after all, come to England to play.

      Contrast that with the hunger of Luis Suarez, who may play in England…but who has taken such a beating (admittedly a lot of it deserved) from the English press, that he had a chip on his shoulder the size of a boulder. You could tell he wasn’t 100%, but he gimped into the game on one good leg, and by God, he was going to show the English up…and he did.

      You look at most matches in the World Cup, and you see players flying around, laying out, ripping their guts out to get to ball, killing themselves, because it’s the biggest match of their lives, the matches that will make their reputations…and, oh yeah, prove their worth on the world stage for all to see.

      Not England.

      The English don’t have that motivation, and it shows. They seem astoundingly casual. They’d “like” to win, sure…but also, they might get hurt, it’s already been a beast of a long season, and they’ve got a summer break to get to before training camp starts…it almost seems like for a lot of them it’d be nice, some ways, to just get it over with. Or – God help you – you might do something that gets you humiliated in front of the country (see: Rob Green, 2010, and Stephen Gerrard, five hours ago)…so there’s no real upside for these guys, and against Italy it seemed like they were perfectly content to just make a respectable showing against a respected opponent…and take the loss. That mentality of push-it-to-the-redline and win-or-die-trying just wasn’t there. It wasn’t there in 2010, it wasn’t there in 2006…in fact, I have never seen the English go into a tournament with win-or-die on their minds. Ever.

      How hungry are the English? Until they get hungry again, they aren’t ever going to do well at a World Cup, or even the Euros.

      • I have heard this before about the lack of desire and I can’t say its not true. Think of all the Manchester United players throughout the years that either retired early or didn’t show up for the national team nearly often as you would think.

  6. I would argue that the English players play in a “Mickey Mouse” league, and by doing so, their level of play is not as great as it should be.

    The English players need to play in the best league with the best players in the world because they will become better athletes.


  7. England visited an orphanage in Rio de Janeiro a couple of days ago.

    “It’s heartbreaking to see their sad little faces, with so little hope” said Maria, age 6.

  8. England was, as usual, over-rated. It seems ironic that Gerrard gets an unofficial ‘assist’ on the last Suarez goal, capping off a dismal performance on his part.

    • I saw very few pundits fancying England’s chances to even make it out of this group. Most predicted that the established stars (Rooney, Gerrard) wouldn’t get it done and the young players were still too green to make a huge impact.

    • Suarez gets my vote for best in world. Sorry Messi and Ronaldo guys. Suarez is one of the best athletes I have ever seen period.

    • To toot my own horn, more than once during the latter part of the EPL season I wrote that Suarez must be giving Hodgson nightmares. I figured that if nobody in the EPL could stop him, nobody on the English squad could either. Think what he could do if fully fit. Costa Rica was lucky to play them with Suarez on the bench. He should make the Italy v. Uruguay game very interesting.

  9. There is so much scoring in this cup AND it’s done but mostly the same players. The number of braces alone just in the opening round has to be at least 5. That is huge, right? How many hat tricks? 3?

  10. I’m a neutral on this one, but what a game!

    Could this be the best overall first round action (play quality and emotions) of ANY World Cup?

    • It has to be. There has been so much unforeseen drama, action and goal-scoring.

      Major teams have been destroyed on the field, while countries no one expected anything of, i.e. Australia, put in MAJOR and significant efforts.

      Hopefully the action doesn’t tapper off in the knock-out rounds.

    • I watched my first World Cup in ’94 as a young lad, and I can’t remember a more exciting opening round with better attacking soccer and dramatic games than this one. High quality stuff, for the most part. I would say the only two true snooze fests so far have been Nigeria-Iran and South Korea-Russia.

    • Yes indeed…
      Quality tournament so far with a few upsets thrown in with the occassonal highlight reel goal or two..

      Its early, but the knock out round may see fresh faces in the mix…

      No discernable “star/breakout” player yet but again, its early..

      The USMNT would do well to take something from the Portugal match..

      With the sort of even feel to this tournament.. The US could see a repeat of 2002 given a few bounces in the right direction….

    • Was at both this game and the World Cup opener, thought this one had an atmosphere that was much better than the first. Much more fun to be at the game.

    • No, they still have a slim chance but they would need Italy to win the next 2, then beat Costa Rica while making up the goal difference.

      • Really?

        So, Italy plays Costa next. They shouldn’t have any problem there I suspect. Then that would mean it comes down to the last game for both Uruguay and Costa Rica, right?

      • It’s not that complicated. Italy beats Costa Rica and then beats Uruguay. England beats Costa Rica and scores enough goals to have a higher goal differential than Costa Rica and Uruguay.

  11. 2nd goal looked legit to me. This is the real “group of death”. Having to play Italy, then Uruguay, is about as tough a start as any team had.

    • Dude, this group is nothing like the group of death. Costa Rica is not a powerhouse even within the CONCACAF. Uruguay was trounced by Costa Rica. England is overhyped as always. Italy is the only team that has legitimate quality.

      • Costa Rica is a respectable team. They have a top-class keeper and some decent talent, notably Joel Campbell. How many teams in the tournament have two players of the class of Cavani and Suarez? This is a very respectable group. England would be better off playing a more energetic side from the start, but they have lost to decent teams.

      • the point was that it wasn’t the group of death. Our group is clearly tougher. Germany, Portugal, and Ghana? Ridiculously tough.

  12. I’m pretty sure that Cavani didn’t get his head on that last goal. Gerrard deflected backwards otherwise Suarez is offside


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