Suarez staggers England with finesse and ferocity
Luis Suarez’s first goal on Thursday was a delicate touch of class, a deft header nodded in with precision and purpose and placement.
Luis Suarez’s first goal on Thursday was a delicate touch of class, a deft header nodded in with precision and purpose and placement. Suárez’s second goal, however — the one that was a death blow for England — was something closer to a savage blast.
The combination was vintage Suárez, a pure attacker who perfectly embodies the Uruguayan notion of garra charrua — that is, a mixture of will, fight and an unyielding desire to win in whatever way is required. On a chilly night at Arena Corinthians, Suárez showed his deliberate jab and then, at just the right moment, his haymaker.
The result was a 2-1 victory for Uruguay that left La Celeste rising and the Three Lions reeling. England is not mathematically eliminated after losing its opening two games but could be on Friday if Italy and Costa Rica play to a tie. Even if that does not happen, England will need outside help — in addition to a big win over Costa Rica — to advance.
“Our chances are unbelievably slim,” England Manager Roy Hodgson said afterward. “We needed a result today, a draw or a victory, and we didn’t get it.”
They did not, even after Wayne Rooney, the often criticized English forward, finally scored his first World Cup goal in his 10th career game on the sport’s biggest stage.
That goal, which came in the 75th minute after a thrilling run and cross from Glen Johnson, seemed as if it ought to bring relief: for Rooney, who is 28 but surely feels much older after more than a decade of scrutiny from England fans; for Hodgson, whose player selection had come under fire and whose job status will most likely be up in the air if his team fails to advance; and for the fans, many of whom traveled to Brazil and who were hoping, finally, for more than just another underachievement.
Yet there was no relief. Instead, the reprieve lasted just nine minutes with Suárez, again, pricking the balloon. In the first half, Suárez ruined 45 minutes of decent English possession, slipping in behind the defense and taking an inch-perfect cross from Edinson Cavani squarely on his forehead.
By SAM BORDEN / NYTimes
World Cup 2014