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England's forward Daniel Welbeck (right) is challenged by Uruguay's defender Martin Caceres for the ball during the Group D football match between Uruguay and England at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo on June 19, during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (AFP)
Suarez brace shatters England COLOMBIA MOVE TO BRINK OF KNOCK OUT STAGE

SAO PAULO, June 19, (Agencies): Luis Suarez scored a late winner as Uruguay sent England spinning to the brink of elimination from the World Cup on Thursday with a 2-1 victory. Liverpool striker Suarez grabbed the second of two opportunistic goals in the 85th minute of a tense Group D battle in Sao Paulo after Wayne Rooney had looked to have rescued a point for England with a 75th-minute equaliser. The defeat leaves England, beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening match, needing a miracle if they are to avoid failing to reach the second round of a World Cup for the first time since 1958. Suarez — named English football’s player of the year after a superb season for Liverpool — had been a doubt for the World Cup after undergoing knee surgery in May.

However the 27-year-old returned to haunt an England side containing five of his Liverpool team-mates.
With both teams knowing that a defeat would likely prove fatal to their chances of progressing to the last 16, the game started cautiously.
But England’s inability to retain possession always looked likely to gift Uruguay an opening and so it proved.
Loose play from England captain Steven Gerrard saw Uruguay break swiftly, with Nicolas Lodeiro releasing Edinson Cavani down the left.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker delayed his cross to perfection, leaving Suarez, who had ghosted clear of Phil Jagielka, to head back past wrong-footed England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
With England struggling to break Uruguay down for much of the second half, Suarez’s opener looked to be enough.


But 15 minutes from time Rooney tapped in his 40th international goal, and his first at a World Cup, after a low Glen Johnson cross to reignite their challenge.
England had looked the likelier to score thereafter, but five minutes from time the ball broke to Suarez off Gerrard and the striker raced clear.
The Liverpool man glanced up and then unleashed a ferocious shot into the roof of the net.
Uruguay’s victory leaves England needing Italy to beat both Costa Rica on Friday and the Uruguayans next Tuesday.
England would then need to beat Costa Rica in their final game to have any chance of qualifying on goal difference.


Colombia scored twice in six minutes in a lively second half to beat Ivory Coast 2-1 at the World Cup on Thursday and move to the brink of the knockout stage.
James Rodriguez’s powerful header from a corner in the 64th minute was quickly followed by a low finish by substitute Juan Quintero, securing the South American team’s second straight win in Group C in front of a partisan pro-Colombian crowd.
Gervinho reduced the deficit in the 73rd with a superb run and shot inside the near post, but the Ivory Coast could not find an equalizer despite a strong finish.
There was a sea of yellow shirts throughout the Estadio Nacional as Colombia fans arrived en masse to the Brazilian capital, giving it the feel like of an intimidating away game for the Ivorians. The crowd roared with relief at the final whistle, with their team in touching distance of the second round of the World Cup for only the second time.


All this without star striker Radamel Falcao, who is missing the tournament through injury.
However, at halftime, the noise coming from the stands was not so fierce, with Ivory Coast holding relatively firm - except for a golden chance spurned by Teofilo Gutierrez in the 28th.
Rodriguez’s left-wing cross fell perfectly for Gutierrez just outside the six-yard box, but he miscued his volley and it skewed wide.
With Yaya Toure seemingly anonymous and Didier Drogba again starting on the bench, Ivory Coast threatened only through long-range shots in a first half marked by a comic moment when a large inflatable ball bounced onto the playing surface, causing a brief stoppage.
Juan Cuadrado lit up a cagey opening to the second half by bringing down a long pass, shimmying past his marker and rifling a powerful shot that was tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Boubacar Barry. Inside a stadium named after 1960s World Cup star Mane Garrincha, it was a piece of right-wing trickery that even the Brazil great would have enjoyed.

Drogba entered on the hour, to a mixture of jeers and applause, but he was found wanting in the leadup to Rodriguez’s goal four minutes later, the playmaker beating him to Cuadrado’s corner and heading powerfully into the net for his second goal of the tournament.
The celebrations had hardly died down when Ivory Coast midfielder Serey Die was dispossessed inside his own half, allowing Gutierrez to create a chance for Quintero, who made no mistake with a side-foot finish. In a frenetic last quarter of the match, Ivory Coast - driven by Drogba - finished strongly.
Gervinho’s goal was one of the best pieces of individual skill so far at this World Cup, the Roma winger skipping between two defenders, cutting inside a third and beating David Ospina at his near post. But there was to be no equalizer.


 

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