FINAL: Uruguay 2, England 1
Uruguay's World Cup hopes were completely revived as Luis Suarez scored twice in his return from knee surgey to defeat Group D foe England 2-1.
In the battle of the desperates heavyweights, Uruguay's patchwork defense was stellar while the world's most dangerous striker shined on the World Cup stage. Luis Suarez tallied his first goal when he knocked in a header over leaping English defender Phil Jagielka. He finished his World Cup debut with an 85th-minute blast that was also the result of poor English defending.
Sandwiched around Wayne Rooney's equalizer in the 75th-minute, Suarez essentially took the lead with an assist from goalie Fernando Muslera. The keeper had thwarted an English attack and punted the ball up the field when it was flicked into the final third where Suarez was waiting anxiously. No English defender seemed prepared to mark him and the Liverpool star took off down the right side and blasted a shot to the center of the net past Joe Hart.
Coming off the 3-1 loss to Costa Rica, Uruguay must at minimum get a draw against Italy in the final group stage to feel somewhat confident of its chances. The result of tomorrow's Italy-Costa Rica game weighs heavily on the outcome of Group D, and surprisingly, England still has a flicker of hope. If Italy beats Costa Rica, England must then beat Costa Rica while overcoming goal differential. But stars Steven Gerrard, Rooney and Daniel Sturridge are absolutely envious that Uruguay now controls its own destiny.
94' -- What a move from Rooney as he tries to rip one from the edge of the box. Earns a corner which yields nothing.
93' -- Again, Gerrard blasts one from outside the box but not on frame. Hope is dwindling.
91' -- Gerrard lofts the ball just beyond the goal line. Can't imagine they're not going to get very many more chances.
90' -- Five minutes of additional time.
89' -- SUB: Lambert on for Henderson.
88' -- Is Suarez's second the winner? Only a few minutes left.
85' -- SUAREZZZZ AGAIN!!! GOL! GOL! GOL! Muslera punts it, the ball gets flicked on to Suarez, who buries it. Wow. Steven Gerrard looks sick to his stomach.
82' -- England now on the defensive as Suarez and Cavani make trouble in the back.
The Rooney equalizer --
77' -- Sturridge went down in the box but the referee wasn't buying it. Next possession, he turns on two Uruguay defenders and nearly gives his side the lead with a toe poke. Decent save from Musiera.
75' -- GOAL FOR WAYNE ROONEY!!! Cleans up a centered pass from Glen Johnson. Great work from Johnson, and all he had to do with tap it in. He'll take it. GOAL FOR ROONEY!
74' -- Sturridge dances away from a few defenders but can't get much on a left-footed chance outside the box. Swallowed up by Musiera.
72' -- THIS IS DIFFICULT TO WATCH. KEEP IN MIND, PEREIRA STAYED IN AFTER THIS KNEE TO THE HEAD.
70' -- SUB: Welbeck out, Lallana in.
69' -- Leighton Baines with a low running cross on the left, knocked out by Gimenez. Can't say enough about this Uruguay defense.
67' -- Rooney, Barkley combo on a nice sequence in the box but still nothing doing. Gerrard with a hard challenge on Rodriguez, draws a yellow.
66' -- Loderio out for Uruguay, Cristhian Stuani on.
64' -- Raheem Sterling out, Ross Barkley in.
63' -- This is awful. Pereira overrules the doctor, which is an awful decision on the part of Uruguay, FIFA, everyone. "Seems to be ok," says Dr. broadcaster.
62' -- Scary, scary moment. Alvaro Pereria takes a knee to the head from Raheem Sterling. He looks completely out of it, but is pleading to stay in, despite concussion concerns.
60' -- Rooney's miss:
54' -- Rooney AGAIN misses a point-blank shot. Baines crosses it from the left, Rooney taps it with his right and blasts it directly at Musiera. His goal-less streak continues.
53' -- England desperate for a release. Rooney, Gerrard, someone needs to hold possession.
52' -- Pereira finds a streaking Cavani along the left side who crosses it near the goal line but no one's there to finish it. On the next sequence Cavani misses a golden chance from the left side. Can't even put it on frame.
49' -- Uruguay firing on all cylinders in the first four minutes. Steven Gerrard blocks a likely goal and then explodes at his teammates. Make or break time for England.
48' -- Second half underway and Uruguay nearly scores off a bouncing Suarez corner. Dicey play from Joe Hart.
HALFTIME: Uruguay 1, England 0
What a return for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez after missing his team's opening-match loss to Costa Rica. Edinson Cavani fed Suarez with a perfectly timed lob over an English defender and Suarez softly guided it past Joe Hart in the 39th minute.
That was the difference as both teams had a few quality chances, but as expected, the match was basically an even back-and-forth. Wayne Rooney missed on what was essentially a short corner kick from Steven Gerrard when he knocked a header into the upper woodwork. Daniel Sturridge had a few shots as well for England, who maintained the edge in possession, but Uruguay's patchwork defense held strong. A wildly entertaining first half should only get better in the next 45.
45' -- Even though he missed the header, Rooney has been excellent. Great touch, great runs. Had the assist for England against Italy.
43' -- Uruguay defending this lead to the death. England putting all kinds of pressure off great runs and corners. Like I said, nearly tied up.
SUCH a nice goal from Suarez --
40' -- Just as in game against Italy, England nearly responds immediately. Sturridge with a strike off the assist from Rooney. Great save from Musiera.
39' -- GOALLLL!!! LUIIISSS SUARREZZ!!! The striker finishes off an incredible lob from Cavani and Suarez places it perfectly with his head. Lob was PERFECT, just over Jagielka.
37' -- England dominating possession 60-40 and with a few significant chances thus far. Sturridge and Sterling playing exceptionally well but Caceres and Gimenez seem up to the challenge.
Rooney came agonizingly close to scoring --
33' -- Game getting increasingly testy as Gerrard jostles for the ball. Free kick that Uruguay can't capitalize on.
31' -- ROONEY drills a header into the crossbar that would've been his first career World Cup goal. Wonderful ball from Gerrard and Rooney finds himself in the back of the net after that near-goal. JUUUUSTT got underneath it.
28' -- Godin with an elbow to Sturridge that should've probably been a yellow (his second). HUGE break for Uruguay. England can't do much with kick.
27' -- Gary Cahill with another important clearance and he's been extremely active in the back. Suarez to Cavani off the corner, but the striker didn't quite have the angle. Both teams going back and forth with no real dominance either way.
26' -- Good hands from Joe Hart as Caceres nearly goes flying into the goal post. No problem for English defense.
25' -- Foul on Raheem Sterling and Uruguay earns another set piece coming on far left side.
24' -- It's gone on long enough without mention. Uruguay's jerseys are uncomfortably tight.
19' -- Have to say that Uruguay's make shift backline has stood up well to English strikers. Good, physical tackling from Gimenez and Pereira.
17' -- Great end-to-end action. Gerrard and Rooney combine as Sturridge blasts one that gets deflected for a corner. Rooney still searching for his first-ever World Cup goal.
15' -- Great play in the midfield from Uruguay and Cristian Rodriguez nearly blasts one in from outside the 18. An absolute rocket. Cavani showing well early.
11' -- Uruguay hasn't beaten a European squad at the World Cup in its last 15 games, per broadcast.
9' -- Great touch by Sturridge, who chips its into Godin's right hand just outside the box. Godin draws a yellow and England has another early chance. Rooney on ball. He blasts it two feet (!!!!) wide of the top left corner.
7' -- Sterling beats Lodeiro and England earns a free kick a few yards outside of the box. Cleared out by Uruguay's center back.
5' -- Broadcast notes that neither side in the history of the World Cup has lost its first two games.
4' -- Suarez with some good early work along the left side, earns a corner. It's his first game since minor knee surgery. Ball bounces off Henderson and we get another corner.
3' -- Uruguay keeper Musiera nearly makes a massive error on a simple through ball, but he recovers on the ground to avoid disaster.
1' -- We're off in Sao Paulo.
PREGAME: What's at stake -- An English win sets it up very well as its only remaining group game comes against Costa Rica. A draw could likely suffice as well, as it has the goal differential over Uruguay, which still has to face Italy.
Uruguay can't afford to draw as it would need to overcome goal differential and then beat Italy. It simply must win.
Luis Suarez is indeed going to start his first game since May 11. His offensive infusion will hopefully jumpstart a team that looked severely out of sorts against Costa Rica.
The weather in Sao Paulo is reportedly cold and wet, a stark change from the sticky, humid climate of Manaus where England played its first match. The weather should benefit The Three Lions as their fitness was tested against Italy.
Uruguay starters: Muslera, Caceres, Gimenez, Godin, A. Pereira, Gonzalez, Rios, Rodriguez, Suarez, Lodeiro, Cavani
England starters: Hart, Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Rooney, Welbeck, Sturridge
England vs. Uruguay (Group D) | Kickoff: 6/19 3 p.m. ET | Stadium: Corinthians
Match Preview: Both heavyweights face eachother in a surprisingly desperate situation. A draw could benefit England because it has yet to face Costa Rica and only lost by one goal to Italy. On the other hand, Uruguay needs a win as it doesn't want to go up against now group favorite Italy with only one point in tow. It would also have to overcome a two-goal defeat to Costa Rica. That's why Thursday's game is vital for both sides.
Uruguay's defense looked completely out of sorts against Costa Rica, and The Three Lions could take advantage of an even more vulnerable backline. Captain and defender Diego Lugano will miss tomorrow's match with a knee injury. A late red card against Costa Rica for Maxi Pereira won't help matters either as he'll watch from the bench. In some positive news -- lord knows they need it -- Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is expected to play against the many familiar faces of the English national team. He's returning from minor knee surgery and his conditioning could be an issue.
Wayne Rooney, set to play in his 10th World Cup game, has still never scored a goal on this stage. He fumbled a golden chance against Italy in the second half, but he still had a massive impact with a precise cross to lead to his team's only goal. Even if he's not scoring, he's still demanding attention away from England's other attackers, Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge.
Roy Hodgson will likely deploy Rooney as an attacking midfielder in the center, a position he's way more comfortable with than where we saw him against Italy. Both teams need this, but one side is young, hungry and healthy while the other is aging and vulnerable. We'll see if Uruguay can flip the script.