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Luis Suarez Scores Brace To Put England On The Edge Of Elimination

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A Luis Suarez brace was all Uruguay needed to see off England and put the Three Lions all but out of the World Cup.

Suarez and Sterling tussle for the ball, while Henderson gazes longingly.
Suarez and Sterling tussle for the ball, while Henderson gazes longingly.
Jamie Squire

The one thing everyone knew would happen in this tie did: Luis Suarez, playing for the first time since his knee surgery, scored for Uruguay against England in the World Cup

It was a lovely effort, with Suarez sneaking through England's defense to latch on to an Edinson Cavani cross and nod a looping header past Joe Hart. It may have lacked the typical brilliance of a Luis Suarez goal, but it was a lovely effort all the same and certainly helped along the "Suarez versus England" storyline.

That was by far the highlight of the first half, however, with Uruguay being Uruguay (read: bad other than Suarez and Cavani), and England playing like a Roy Hodgson-lead side. Wayne Rooney was putrid, Steven Gerrard was bad (a poor giveaway started the Uruguay chance that ended in Suarez scoring), Jordan Henderson was quiet thanks to covering for those two defensively, Daniel Sturridge lacked good service, and Raheem Sterling was about the only good thing England had going.

Yeah. It wasn't fun.

There was a moment of controversy in the first half, though. Uruguay's captain, center back Diego Godin, hacked down Sturridge with a clear forearm to the throat just before Liverpool's striker could get in to the box. That's a yellow card if you're feeling kind, and a red if you're not. As Godin was already on a yellow, that should have been his marching orders either way. Somehow, though, the referee only whistled for a foul and gave no other punishment.

The second half was much more entertaining, with Uruguay on the front foot early, and England later on. A scary head injury to Uruguay's left back, Alvaro Pereira, eventually helped lead to England's equalizer. Glen Johnson juked a clearly shaken Pereira to the ground on the edge of the box, and Martin Caceres just forgot to mark Wayne Rooney at the far post, who finally got his first World Cup goal on a tap in after missing three golden chances earlier in the match.

That was all the incentive that Suarez needed to pull the magic out again, though, as a ball that deflected off Gerrard went straight to him in space, and a bullet finish from the right side of goal left Hart helpless once again. It was an emotional moment, and you could tell that Suarez felt every bit of how huge that goal was for his country.

Uruguay

The result puts England all but out of the World Cup. They have zero points in the group after two matches, and will be relying on every other result to go their way in order to advance. With a -2 goal differential and three points down on everyone else, they need Italy to beat both Costa Rica tomorrow and Uruguay on Tuesday, as well as a win against Costa Rica themselves, AND for goal differential to swing in their favor. That's an awfully tall mountain to climb.

Many on Twitter and elsewhere spent a lot of digital ink piling on Sterling and Henderson, but neither player deserved an inch of blame for England's loss. Sterling was the one functioning thing England had going in attack in the first half, and while Henderson wasn't much involved in attack, he put in a heroic effort in defense covering for a barely-there Rooney and Gerrard combination ahead of him.

If England fans want to blame someone, their efforts should start with one man: Roy Hodgson.