Mon | Aug 2, 2021

England at World Cup exit door

Published:Friday | June 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM
England's goalkeeper Joe Hart can't stop Uruguay's Luis Suarez's header as he scores his side's first goal during the Group D World Cup yesterday. Suarez scored both goals as Uruguay won 2-1. - AP

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (AP):

Before the World Cup, Uruguay were worried about Luis Suarez's knee and Colombia were fretting over injured Radamel Falcao.

Less than a month after surgery, Suarez came back yesterday to score two vital World Cup goals, and Colombia have not lost despite missing their star striker. Both South American teams won 2-1 yesterday, Uruguay pushing England to the brink of elimination, and Colombia beating Cote d'Ivoire to go to first place in Group C.

The results further underscored South America's dominance of the World Cup in Brazil. The continent's teams now have 25 points out of a possible 30.

Colombia continued to produce goals even without Falcao. For Uruguay, Suarez reinvigorated their campaign after an opening 3-1 loss to Costa Rica. Uruguay are level with Italy and Costa Rica in Group D, and those team meet today in Recife.

About 15 miles from the site of the Uruguay-England game in Sao Paulo, about 2,000 people protested against the World Cup, some smashing windows at banks and car dealerships and spray-painted anti-capitalist slogans on buildings.

Inside the stadium, Suarez was hoisted aloft by teammates after the game as if he had won the World Cup.

Earlier in the tournament, stars have been coming through for their nations: Neymar for Brazil, Robin van Persie for the Netherlands, Thomas Mueller for Germany and Lionel Messi for Argentina. Suarez got started later, but he made up for missing a game with his star performance yesterday.

After May 22 surgery on his knee left little hope for a World Cup appearance, Suarez looked completely healthy. He produced his toothy smile even before his header crossed the line to open the scoring. And after Wayne Rooney finally scored his first World Cup goal to tie the game for England, Suarez capped his return with something almost magical in Sao Paulo.

DISBELIEF

With Uruguay under intense pressure in the 85th minute, Suarez gathered a long clearance that was accidentally headed on by England's Steven Gerrard - his Liverpool teammate. His knee was in full flow as he unleashed a drive that goalie Joe Hart barely had time to see fly by. Suarez fell to the ground in disbelief before he was mobbed by delirious teammates.

"He doesn't miss" from there, England coach Roy Hodgson said.

Suarez produced tears of joy.

There were also tears of anguish. In a moment as memorable as many of the great goals, midfielder Serey Die sobbed uncontrollably during the Cote d'Ivoire anthem.

His thoughts went back to his father who died a decade ago, but "I also thought about my tough life - I didn't think that one

day I would be here, playing."

For South America, the home advantage was there for all to see by the frenzied pro-Colombian crowd inside the

Estadio Nacional in Brasilia.

James Rodriguez and Juan Quintero produced second half goals before a brilliant solo effort by Gervinho made it a tight game again.