Luis Suárez returned just in time to push England to the brink of elimination.
After missing the first game of the World Cup with a knee injury, Suárez scored both of his team's goals to lift Uruguay to a thrilling 2-1 win over England in a pivotal Group D match at Arena Corinthians in São Paulo on Thursday.
Not even Wayne Rooney’s first-ever World Cup goal could save England, who drop to 0-2-0 in the group and will be eliminated before their final game with a Costa Rica win or draw against Italy on Friday.
Uruguay – who were stunned by Costa Rica in their opener – are now 1-1-0 heading into their final group-stage match against Italy.
SUAREZ'S GRAND RETURN: Despite recovering from recent knee surgery, Suárez returned to the starting lineup against England and delivered in a big way. Minutes after Rooney tied the game at 1-1, Suárez scored his second goal of the game in the 84th minute to give Uruguay the lead for good. The goal came after a Uruguay goal kick flicked off Steven Gerrard’s head behind the England defense, Suárez broke free to run onto it and blasted a shot past goalkeeper Joe Hart that broke the hearts of Englishmen everywhere.
Gerrard helped set up that Suárez goal by flicking the goal kick onto Suárez. One more assist to his Liverpool teammate, sadly for England.— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) June 19, 2014
THE DROUGHT ENDS: After missing two great chances earlier in the game, Rooney finally broke through in the 75th minute to end his much-talked-about World Cup scoring drought. With England trailing 1-0, the star striker was the beneficiary of a great ball from Glen Johnson. All Rooney had to do was tap it in to score his 40th international goal for England but his first in 10 World Cup games.
SUAREZ-CAVANI CONNECTION: In the 39th minute, Suárez scored the only goal of the first half with a well-placed header across the face of the goal. It came after his partner up top, Edinson Cavani, was given too much time near the edge of the box and played him a perfect looping ball.
Crazy: Suárez & Cavani were born 21 days apart in the same town (Salto) in a remote corner of Uruguay. Two of the world's best forwards.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 19, 2014
ROONEY’S MISSES: In the 31st minute, Gerrard placed a free kick perfectly to the back post where Rooney awaited. But despite getting his head on the cross just a yard from goal, the star striker couldn’t get his header down enough and it smacked off the crossbar. Then, in the 54th minute, Rooney had a wide-open shot from eight yards out denied by Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, only adding to his World Cup frustrations.
Wayne Rooney was THIS close to putting England ahead. pic.twitter.com/vkIsxr4Q3n— ESPN (@espn) June 19, 2014
GODIN LIVING DANGEROUSLY: Uruguay caught a big break that captain Diego Godín wasn’t sent off in the first half, which could have changed the course of the game. Godín’s first offense came in the ninth minute when his intentional handball thwarted an English break – and while he was shown a yellow, it could have easily been a red. And 20 minutes later, he took down Daniel Sturridge, but, much to the dismay of English fans, was not shown a second yellow.
PEREIRA REFUSES TO COME OUT: When Álvaro Pereira took a knee to the head while sliding to the ground and lay motionless on the ground for a few moments, it looked like a certainty that he would come out of the game. But with Uruguay’s trainers signaling for a substitution, Pereira threw a bit of a tantrum to stay in the game – and he got his way. The online debate rightly focused around whether a player should be allowed to make that decision.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Suárez, England. His two goals make this an easy choice. And if the Liverpool star continues on this path, Uruguay suddenly seem like a contender to make their second straight deep World Cup run.