Match Report :Suarez the slayer in Sao Paulo :

Football: Breaking Tackle, Pads On, Laces Out: World Cup

Uruguay 2-1 England

Match Report

By: Okari Stephen Wambunya

Steven Gerrard had admitted there would be nowhere to hide, if England crashed out of the World Cup after only two games. Roy Hodgson’s team would be eliminated if they were beaten by Uruguay on Thursday and Costa Rica drew with Italy in Recife on Friday. England captain Gerrard said: “It could be a terrible, long, frustrating summer if we don’t get it right.” Meanwhile, Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez admitted, playing Luis Suarez against England would be a gamble. The forward insisted he was 100 per cent ready to face England, but Tabárez claimed not to be convinced, given his key man had knee surgery only last month.

England started the match pressurizing the opposition well. Steven Gerrard crossed from distance, it was cleared into the path of Leighton Baines, and he played a through ball to Daniel Sturridge in the area, but Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera got there before him and grasped the ball with his hands.

Moments later, Luis Suarez played a neat one-two and advanced into the area down the left hand side, but his square ball was put out for a corner. Suarez took it and nearly curled it into the goal, as Joe Hart was caught out by going a little far off his line. However, the England keeper put it out for another corner.

Diego Godin got a yellow card, as he blatantly handled the ball on the edge of the box. A free kick was awarded to England in a dangerous position. Wayne Rooney bent the free kick from 20 yards over and around the wall, but it went inches away just past the top-left corner of the post.

Uruguay was keeping the ball in possession and looking comfortable. England gave the ball away and Christian Rodriquez almost made them pay, with an intense left-footed thump, which rose and swerved over the bar. Past that and England earned a corner. Though, Gerrard failed to deliver properly. Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling was put under pressure by Uruguay. Then, a free kick from distance was swung in by Suarez, but Joe Hart was untroubled.

Danny Welbeck made a rampaging run down the left, but the ball got away from him and it went out for a goal kick. Soon after, Sturridge was down on the pitch after a heavy challenge from Godin, who was already booked. The referee kept his cards in his pocket.

Gerrard drifted in a free kick from the left to the far post and Rooney rose to meet the ball with his head, but it came back off the crossbar.

In the 39 minute, the deadlock was broken. Suarez punished England. Hodgson’s side was caught napping, as Edinson Cavani floated a cross from the left with Uruguay moving forward, Suarez found himself unmarked at the back of Phil Jagielka and headed home. Sturridge almost responded immediately, he had a strike at goal from 15 yards but Muslera dived to his right and put it behind for a corner. At the stroke of half time, Suarez nearly caught out Hart once more, with a corner from the left. The ball swayed in and the England goalkeeper just got back in time to clear it away, before it went over the line.

 

After the interval, the ball fell to Suarez on the right who decided to shoot from distance, but skewed his effort wide. England was at sixes and sevens, as the ball was played through to Cavani who found himself one-on-one with Hart, but he shot narrowly wide. An intricate move from England down the left, led to Baines crossing it in and Rooney unleashed a shot towards goal from 12 yards, but it was straight at the keeper who parried it away. Welbeck seemed determined to connect another cross, but collided with keeper Muslera. After that, Jordan Henderson tried his luck with a decent attempt at goal.
Some silky skills from Sterling on the right, took him past two players into the area, but he lost control and the ball went out of play. Alvaro Pereira got a concussion on the pitch after taking an unintentional knee in the head from Sterling. He was back on his feet, after some treatment and was desperate to stay on. The first change from Roy Hodgson was Ross Barkley, replacing Sterling. The first substitution for Uruguay was Christian Stuani, coming on for Nicolas Lodeiro. Gerrard got a yellow card after a late foul on Rodriguez.

 

Adam Lallana replaced Welbeck. On 75 minutes, England was level. Rooney scored his first World Cup goal. Glen Johnson ran past two Uruguay defenders into the box and played it low across goal, for an unmarked Rooney to tap it into the net. There were appeals for a penalty as Sturridge went down. Sturridge came agonizingly close to putting England ahead as he required Muslera to dive to his left and make a save. Uruguay then made a change, as Pereira at last came off for Jorge Fucile.

 

In the 85 minute, Suarez finished England off. Muslera kicked it far up the field. Gerrard jumped to meet it, but it flipped off the back of his head and into the path of the alert Suarez who unleashed it into the net, past Joe Hart. Instantly after scoring his second goal of the match, Luis Suarez was off the pitch with a muscle pull. Sebastian Coates came on. A long-range effort from Steven Gerrard went well wide. At full-time Suarez was crying, as he sat on the bench.

Luis Suarez was unquestionably the Man of the Match. It was an incredible recovery by the Liverpool striker, with the help of his physio, who halted his own cancer treatment to nurse the forward back to health and to be fit for this crucial game. Just only one month ago, Suarez was on a wheelchair after knee surgery. He was up to his customary clinical standards and bagged his brace with aplomb.

Two matches, two losses. However, it’s definitely not over yet.

England has to win convincingly against Costa Rica and trust that Italy will triumph in both their remaining games, by a significant margin. Therefore, second place comes down to goal difference. That is a lot to ask for, although it could still be done.

 

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Match Report :Suarez the slayer in Sao Paulo :
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