WORLD CUP: England teetering on brink of crashing out

10:20pm Thursday 19th June 2014

Uruguay 2

(Suarez 39, 84)

England 1

(Rooney 75)

England stand on the brink of an early World Cup exit after Luis Suarez blew Roy Hodgson's men away with a deadly double in Sao Paulo.

Wayne Rooney thought he had snatched a draw for England after he equalised Suarez's opener in the first half.

But with five minutes left on the clock Steven Gerrard accidentally put the controversial Liverpool striker through and he beat Joe Hart to give the Uruguayans a 2-1 win.

Only a minor miracle will keep England in the tournament now.

If Costa Rica and Italy draw on Friday afternoon, or the Central Americans beat Cesare Prandelli's team, England will be eliminated with one match to spare.

If Italy won both their remaining games, Uruguay, Costa Rica and England will be tied for second spot, provided that Hodgson's men win their final match.

That seems unlikely after the defensive performance shown here on Thursday night.

No team in World Cup history has gone through after two defeats, so England might as well start thinking about going home after next Tuesday's game in Belo Horizonte against Costa Rica.

England showed promise in their first match against Italy, but in Sao Paulo they came up against a rigid and bruising Uruguay defence.

They had their chances to take something from the game. Rooney hit the bar and went close with a brilliant free-kick in the first half.

But once again, the attack cannot be blamed for the result.

England's defence was poor. They always looked susceptible to pace and Suarez, despite being half-fit, caused them problems all night.

Oxford Mail:

Uruguay's Luis Suarez celebrates on the touchline after scoring his side's first goal

Suarez played up to the role of the role of pantomime villain from the beginning of the evening, winking at his Liverpool team-mate Gerrard in the tunnel.

His first touch was greeted by loud boos from the 8,000 England fans sporting red and white in the far corner of the stadium.

Those supporters were made to endure a nerve-jangling opening 10 minutes as England started on the back foot.

Suarez's cross deflected off Gary Cahill's head and Hart almost spilled the ball into his own net, before the England goalkeeper nervously palmed away a Suarez corner.

It was not the start England wanted.

The pressure lifted for a moment when Diego Godin was booked for punching Daniel Sturridge's through-ball.

Rooney steadied himself and bent the resulting free-kick over the wall and narrowly wide of Fernando Muslera's goal.

Uruguay soon had England rattled again.

Phil Jagielka made a real hash of his clearance and the ball fell to Cristian Rodriguez, who belted a left-foot drive that flew an inch over.

Gary Cahill soon followed suit, making another poor clearance, but once again Uruguay could not capitalise.

A concerned Hodgson came to the edge of his technical area to bark orders to his players. It had little effect though as Uruguay continued piling on the pressure.

Cahill had to put in a last-ditch tackle to deny Edinson Cavani and the Paris St Germain man then clipped a shot just over the bar.

Godin was lucky to stay on the pitch when his outstretched arm hit Sturridge in the neck.

Then came Rooney's big chance of the first half. The striker connected with Gerrard's free-kick just under the goal frame, but his header struck the frame and bounced out.

Then, seven minutes before the break, Suarez struck.

Gerrard lost the ball on the halfway line while England had men upfield and Uruguay hit on the counter. Glen Johnson gave Cavani enough time and space to curl a peach of a cross that looped over Cahill's head and Suarez did the rest.

The Liverpool striker wheeled away before being mobbed by his team-mates.

England's defence again switched off after the break, allowing Cavani through, but luckily for the Three Lions, he shot wide.

Rooney found space in the box at the other end of the pitch, but he could only fire at Muslera. It was as if he was destined to never score a World Cup goal.

Gerrard's emotions got the better of him as he clattered into Rodriguez to earn a booking.

Hodgson brought on Ross Barkley, who immediately injected some life into the England midfield.

Sturridge, Johnson and Barkley all entered the box, but nothing was working for England - until Johnson went on a run down the right flank.

Oxford Mail:

Wayne Rooney equalises for England

Johnson, who had been poor all night, took one player on and slipped the ball through the legs of Alvaro Gonzalez to Rooney, who prodded home.

Hodgson leapt up in celebration and Rooney looked to the skies. Finally the monkey was off the Manchester United striker's back. Finally England could breathe again.

England went for the kill. Sturridge broke into the box and was knocked to the floor by Alvaro Pereira, but the referee waved play on.

But with five minutes left Suarez struck the killer blow.

Oxford Mail:

Luis Suarez smashes home Uruguay's second goal

Gerrard mistakenly flicked on a long punt and Suarez drove a low ball past Hart.

England threw everything they had at Uruguay - Hart even came up for a corner - but nothing worked and Suarez was held aloft by his jubilant team-mates at the final whistle.

Oxford United handed derby with Swindon Town in the JPT

Oxford Mail:

11:24am Saturday 5th September 2015

OXFORD United will host Swindon Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy next month following this morning's second round draw.

George Baldock aiming for Oxford United to send a message to League Two with their TV clash

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 5th September 2015

GEORGE Baldock views tomorrow’s televised game as an opportunity for Oxford United to send a message to the rest of Sky Bet League Two.

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Oxford United welcome back skipper Sahara Osborne-Ricketts for Millwall clash

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Saturday 5th September 2015

OXFORD United Women welcome back several key players as they return to action in FA Women's Super League 2 at Millwall Lionesses tomorrow.

Callum O'Dowda absence is headache for Oxford United boss

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 5th September 2015

MICHAEL Appleton’s main selection headache for Oxford United tomorrow is how to replace Callum O’Dowda for the visit to Bristol Rovers.

MOTORSPORT: Sean Walkinshaw eyeing strong end to campaign

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 5th September 2015

CHIPPING Norton driver Sean Walkinshaw resumes his debut season in the Blancpain Endurance and Sprint Series at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal this weekend.

MOTORSPORT: Will Bratt excited for Silverstone return after signing late deal

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 5th September 2015

BANBURY’S Will Bratt makes his return to the track this weekend, following a late deal which will see him race at Silverstone.

CYCLE SPEEDWAY: Sensational Zac Payne wins national title

Oxford Mail:

6:50am Saturday 5th September 2015

ZAC Payne battled through wet conditions to win the British Riders Championship, capping a stunning breakthrough season.

ICE HOCKEY: Oxford City Stars gearing up for season

Oxford Mail: ice hockey

6:50am Saturday 5th September 2015

OXFORD City Stars face London Haringey Racers in a pre-season friendly tomorrow (6.15) as they prepare for the new English National League South Division 1 season.

CRICKET: Oxfordshire girls take third

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

6:40am Saturday 5th September 2015

OXFORDSHIRE Girls Under 15s won a thrilling third-place play-off with five balls to spare to beat Kent in the Royal London County Cup finals by three wickets.

ANGLING: Matrix Talismen clinch Oxford Summer League title despite losing final round

Oxford Mail: Anglers are being reminded that fishing for coarse fish in rivers is off limits for three months.

6:30am Saturday 5th September 2015

MATRIX Talisman Blue clinched the Oxford Summer League title when coming second in the final round on the Thames at Medley and Folly.

Back

© Copyright 2001-2015 Newsquest Media Group

Oxford Mail: site_logo http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk

Click 2 Find Business Directory http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/trade_directory/