And a double from the Uruguayan striker brutalised England’s chances of progressing from Group ‘D’ of the World Cup at the Arena Corinthians here on Thursday. Uruguay’s 2-1 win revitalised their chances of reaching the last 16 following their 3-1 loss to Costa Rica in their opening group game but it left England’s hopes hanging by a slim thread. Roy Hodgson’s men were left hoping that Italy, whom they lost 2-1 to in their opening game, win their remaining two games against the Costa Rica and Uruguay. England, however, would know their fate as soon as 0100hrs local time on Friday when Italy play Costa Rica. Any thing other than an Italian victory would put England out as they play Costa Rica in their final group match on June 24 when the Uruguayans would square off against the Azzurri. Hodgson admitted in his post-match press-conference his side needed a minor miracle to prolong their stay in Brazil.“Our chances are unbelievably slim after the defeat,” Hodgson said. “We need Italy to win their last two games by a good number of goals to have any chance.“We needed a win or a draw here but we didn’t get it.”England were quite close to getting a draw with Wayne Rooney’s 75th minute goal, incidentally his first strike at the World Cup in 10 games, cancelling out Suarez’s header in the 39th.But the Liverpool striker’s crucial intervention three minutes from time sealed England’s fate. And the winner seemed to be made in Liverpool. England captain Steven Gerrard inadvertently flicked a header from Fernando Muslera’s goal-kick straight into the path of his Liverpool team-mate and he made no mistake in firing it past a despairing Joe Hart. Gerrard had said he wouldn’t speak to Suarez in the build-up to Thursday’s match but the Uruguayan, who has suffered bans for biting and racism from the English Football Association (FA), tormented both his club captain and England.“I dreamt this,’’ Suarez, who missed the first match against Costa Rica as he was recovering from a knee surgery he had 22 days before the World Cup, said after the match.“I’m enjoying this moment, because of all I suffered, the criticism I received. So, there you go.”His coach Oscar Tabarez also hailed his impact. Suarez is a wonderful person and he’s loved by his team-mates,” he said. “I’m very happy that he proved t be the difference and showed his class.”In a frenetic opening, the first chance fell to Rooney on the 10th minute but although his curling free-kick left Muslera rooted to the spot, it flew inches wide of his left post. Rooney then headed against the bar from Gerrard’s swinging free-kick. After team-mate Cristian Rodiguez had almost grazed the bar with a fierce shot from the outside of the box, Suarez put Uruguay ahead.Diego Godin’s long ball was deflected by the England defence into the path of Edinson Cavani on the left and he crossed for his strike partner on the right and Suarez’s header arrowed back into the net in the direction from where the cross came from. The second-half started with England desperately searching for an equaliser but their relentless attacking left Suarez and Cavani with good chances to double Uruguay’s lead.But the equaliser England had been looking for did arrive with Liverpool players again involved. Daniel Sturridge freed Glen Johnson on the right and his low cross was tapped in from close range by Rooney. It sent Hodgson jumping with joy. England had the impetus they needed but it was Suarez who had the final say and it he, rather than Hodgson, who was jumping with joy at the final whistle.
Sources by Dawn