Uruguay 2 England 1: Suarez double leaves England on brink of World Cup exit

Uruguay's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring against England.

Uruguay's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring against England.

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England stand on the brink of a 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.

An England fan wearing face paint before the game against Uruguay.

An England fan wearing face paint before the game against Uruguay.

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.

England manager Roy Hodgson said: “We are more than disappointed, we believed we could do enough in this game to get a result. Having worked so hard to counter the first goal, I fully believed we would win the game or at least draw the game. We had been in control for such a long period of time.

“To concede the goal is an unbelievable blow. It is a goal we don’t expect to concede, we deal with them. We dealt with the Uruguayan attack well for long spells but came across a very strong defensive unit ourselves.

“Luis Suarez scored the two goals. The first goal was exceptionally good, top, top class. The second one he was a bit fortunate to get himself free but when he did he made literally no mistake.

“They had been nowhere near our goal, it doesn’t matter how many times you get near their goal though it is how many times you put it in the back of the net and on both occasions we haven’t done it enough.”