Both Uruguay and England were beaten last weekend in their debut appearances at the 2014 World Cup, Uruguay in a 1-3 upset against Costa Rica, England in a hot, humid, and exhausting 1-2 soccer battle against Italy. As a result, stakes were high for both teams to win and keep their mathematical hopes of progressing to the next stage alive. In other words, the battle between the Uruguay home shirt and the England away kit today was a key match for both teams, and England just happened to be the one to blink.
Luis Suarez: The Hero of the Match
The most worthy wearer of the Uruguay 2014 World Cup home jersey today and the undisputed Man of the Match was Luis Suarez, who makes most of his yearly paycheck playing striker for the Liverpool football club. Suarez delivered a bullet kick at the 39-minute mark to put the ball in England's net, allowing Uruguay to take the lead. He also came back in the second half, with just five minutes left to play, and scored again, effectively ending England's chance of earning any group stage points from this match.
The interesting thing about the two-goal onslaught is that Suarez was actually supposed to be injured. Less than a month ago, Suarez suffered a "small meniscus tear" in his knee, an injury that is generally supposed to take six weeks to heal.
As a result, coaches and doctors alike were skeptical about letting him play. He didn't even get onto the pitch during Uruguay's first match against Costa Rica, but Coach Oscar Tabarez was eager to mix things up after that disastrous loss, and decided to play Suarez anyway. Undoubtedly, Tabarez is glad for the decision he made.
The Rest of the Match
Beyond the goals scored by Suarez, the rest of today's match between the Uruguay home kit and the England away kit wasn't the most eventful of the tournament so far. England played a scoreless first half, and looked to be suffering a streak of bad luck when team Captain Steven Gerrard drew a yellow card for a sliding tackle that left Uruguay's Christian Rodriguez on the ground and in pain.
Luckily for England, the bad luck seemed to be at an end just a few minutes later, when famed Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney scored a much-needed equalizer. The moment was a big one for Rooney, his first-ever goal at the World Cup tournament, and it was cause for celebration for the rest of the English side as well, since the goal effectively brought the team back into the match at the 75-minute mark.
The celebration was short-lived, of course. Just 10 minutes after Rooney's goal, Suarez scored the second of his brace, putting Uruguay back on top with barely any time for England to mount a recovery. The match ended 2-1 in favor of Uruguay.
Technically, England still has a chance of making it to the knockout stage, but most fans are ready to call it a year for the England away kit. If, for instance, Italy smashes Costa Rica AND Uruguay in their upcoming two matches, and then England turns around and delivers a decisive victory against Costa Rica themselves, then it's possible that goal difference could carry the Brits into the round of 16. However, since plenty of results could keep England out of contention a draw in any of the remaining Group D matches, for instance such an outcome is hardly expected.
As for Uruguay, the team's World Cup chances just improved significantly. Think the team has a chance of beating Italy next week and progressing to the next stage of the World Cup. Stop by the Soccer Box online store today.