And with that, our rolling report comes to a controlled halt for another day. Time for the real action to begin! It's the fascinating Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica. If you're an England fan, you'll be cheering on Italy for the win that keeps Roy Hodgson's side alive. If you're not an England fan, you'll be too busy smoking a large cigar right now. Paul Doyle has all the news. Adeus!
mindless prattle uplifting rhetoric from everyone's pal, Sepp Blatter!
I am very happy man, very happy. The quality of the football has been the best there has ever been in the group stage, all the teams are attacking and there have been lots of goals. Look at my face - you can see I am very happy.
Channel your inner Barry Davies, everyone, and look at his face! Just look at his face!
Some welcome news for Greece. Or is it? Their striker Kostas Mitroglou, who hurt his side last night in the goalless draw against Japan, will be fit in time for their final game against Ivory Coast. All good and well, but for my money his replacement Theofanis Gekas was much more impressive, and performing in a side down to ten men, too. "Mitroglou looks set to play in the last group game," announced some shill or other for the Greek FA. "He will undergo some more checks but looks to be OK." I'd start Gekas against Ivory Coast, me, and only throw on Mitroglou if it's getting late and Greece - who need a win to have any hope of progressing - need a goal or two. To be honest, even if he's named as sub, a fit-again Mitroglou will be odds-on to get some sort of run-out at some point, because the chances of Greece peppering the Ivory Coast goal are not great: they've only scored twice in their eight World Cup finals games, and both of those came against ten men. I'm looking forward to this winner-takes-all clash already, and now, having said all that, fully expect Mitroglou to score a stylish hat-trick.
Star performer in last night's Uruguay-England match? Well, OK, Luis Suarez. But special mention should be reserved for Uruguayan defender Alvaro Pereira, who was briefly knocked spark out after Raheem Sterling's knee clattered into his temple. Upon being administered a squeeze of the magic sponge, he jumped to his feet and refused to be substituted according to the team doctor's wishes, jumping up and down in the style of a character in a silent movie whose large sheet of glass has just been broken by an out-of-control Ford Model T. The player's energetic display of anger was enough for him to get his way, and minutes later he was cleaning Glen Johnson out with the tackle of the tournament. But the world players union FifPro aren't happy that he was allowed to continue, and have demanded a Fifa investigation. Here's a snippet of their statement:
Football is awash with incidents in which players suffer potentially concussive blows to the head and stay on the pitch. In Pereira's case, he demanded to play on, overruling advice from Uruguay's team physician for him to be immediately substituted. FifPro understands that in certain moments, faced by the pressures of such an important international stage, many players would react in this way. There are times, however, when the players also require greater protection against the prospect of making any rash decisions.
This is magnificent. You've been sending in pictures of assorted World Cup tat accumulated through the ages. From stamps commemorating England's 1966 World Cup win by predicting Nigel de Jong's tackle on Xabi Alonso 44 years before it happened ...
... to a 24-year old pint of milk. This is pushing the UHT process to its limits, but we've no doubt the bottle is still full of creamy, natural goodness. You try it first.
Also yakking his neck, popular Fifa bigwig Sepp Blatter!!! Here he is, with a different take to Scholes on last night's big game.
I think England were unlucky. England looked like a good team.
It's all about opinions, isn't it, football.
Paul Scholes, who had taken a monastic vow of silence between 1992 and 2013, is on the talk again! You can't shut him up these days, and a good thing too, as the man speaks much sense regarding England's hapless campaign. He's been telling it the way he sees it, shooting from the hip, and giving it to you straight, the way it is, on his Paddy Power blog. The short end is, he'd have played Ross Barkley instead of Jordan Henderson, brought Ashley Cole to the party, and given both Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka a hoof up the hole for that second goal last night, dishing out advice with each thrust of his boot.
Going into the tournament we all feared the back four were never not going to concede goals - and now it has been proven ... There is no way you can blame Steven Gerrard for not getting more on the ball from a header in the middle of the park for Luis Suarez's second goal. The defenders didn't sense the danger ... We have got two full-backs now in Leighton Baines and Glen Johnson who are great going forward - but we've got great forwards already. We need solid defenders and we're not blessed with great talent in this area. Not bringing Ashley Cole was probably a mistake - not so much for his attacking qualities - but more his defensive ones.
Gary Neville was first out of the blocks. Now there's Scholes, and Gary's brother Phil, the only man who called Chile to beat Spain. Never mind what they were like as players, Manchester United's Class of 92 are proving quite the batch of pundits, aren't they?
In lieu of breaking World Cup news, allow me to level with you. I'm still reeling from covering, in my role as the Guardian's big gig correspondent, the Japan-Greece game last night. It wasn't the best. But I have to confess a love for the Greek national football team that's been growing ever since their Euro 2004 win, which annoyed hipsters and purists worldwide and therefore has much to commend it. They strangled the life out of that game last night after going down to ten men, and battled for the point that kept them in the tournament. They could even have snatched it at the end, Georgios Samaras and Theofanis Gekas both going close. Samaras also attempted a Pele v Czechoslovakia '70 at the start of the second half. Actually, the more I think about it, the better that game was. A real grower, like an album that needs a few listens. The Shape of Jazz to Come by Ornette Coleman, perhaps, which just sounds like noise when you first put it on. But everything begins to slot into place around his plastic horn after four or five spins. Japan, incidentally, were a timid disgrace, but at least their fans tidied up the stadium again, so well done to them for that.
Hello. Having put in a shift, Paul Doyle has done one, so let's see this rolling report through until the bitter end. Now, then, what's happening? Not much, I'll be bound, but let me have a look around. Give me a minute, go on.
France and Switzerland duel this evening and the showdown is being billed in France as the first real test of the team's possible weakness - the centre of defence, where Mamadou Sakho and Raphael Varane form the youngest, least-experienced central defensive duo in the tournament. Surely it's still a darn sight better than Switzerland's.
Roy Hodgson speaks several languages and is often depicted as a master communicator. However, he belied that reputation at Liverpool, where many of his utterances suggested he had not quite grasp the magnitude of his mission, and he has made some odd gaffes during his time at the helm of England, such as annoying Rio Ferdinand by entrusting his thoughts on the centreback to random travelers on the Tube: and now Luis Suarez has revealed that the England's managers words in the build-up to last night's game helped motivate him. No, it wasn't a joke about space monkeys, it was the careless suggestion that Suarez is not world-class. "In England they talked about the injury and the coach had words that annoyed [me],” Suárez was quoted as saying on the Uruguayan website Tenfield. Read more here.
According to reports in Italy, the ankle niggle from which Andrea Barzagli has been suffering since the England game is not serious enough to rule the centreback out of Operation Rescue England this afternoon.
The Brazilian media have been full of sympathy for brave England this morning. See?
Rihanna on the game
We need Rihanna on a pundit sofa pronto. The sometimes-clad songstress was tweeting regularly during last night's big match and got to the meat of the matter with customary directness. Sample:
World Cup Show
The latest episode is available now.
Luis Suarez alluded to another layer to the story of Uruguay's remarkable victory last night when he ran to celebrate his goals with Walter Ferreira, the physio who helped him to recover in time to torment England. What was not widely known was the Ferreira himself has been fighting cancer in recent months and was not even sure he would have the strength to travel to the World Cup. Suarez did much of his rehabilitation at Ferreira's house because the 63-year-old was unable to get to his clinic. "The truth is that I am grateful," Ferreira said in an interview on Uruguayan radio. "I am grateful that the coaching staff had the confidence to send Luis to work with me without any project. I could not go to the resort and he went to work in my house and I appreciate that so much.”
Julie De La Cruz was rummaging around e-bay for amusing tat this morning and found this - with a typo that makes it all the more choice.
Unlikely scenarios that could help rescue England: I: Fifa officials realise that there have not yet been any goals direct from freekicks in this otherwise goal-tastic tournament and decide that this is disrespectful to the heritage of the hosts and must be addressed immediately: so the referee in today's first match is ordered to keep awarding freekicks to Italy until Andrea Pirlo nets one.
The Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) has just made a very sad announcement on its website: Ibrahim Touré, the younger brother of Kolo and Yaya, died yesterday in Manchester at the age of 28. No further details have been disclosed. "In such a sad situation, the players from the Ivory Coast national team, and the entire delegation here in Brazil, show their support to the Touré brothers and their whole family. The president of the Ivorian Football Federation and the executive committee ask Ivorians for their prayers."
Cameroon's contribution to the World Cup so far has been a couple of moment of low farce, including when Benoit Assou-Ekotto aimed a headbutt at team-mate Benjamin Moukandjo towards the end of the Indomitable Lions' mauling by Croatia. L'Equipe today casts further light on that incident, explaining that Assou-Ekotto's ire was raised by the wideman's failure to pass him the ball ... and he had not calmed down by the time team returned to the dressing room, with insults being exchange and a bottle hurled before Vincent Aboubakar stepped in to separate the pair. The brouhaha might have continued if officials had not arrived to announce that Assou-Ekotto had been selected for the post-match random drug test.
Morning. Or should that be mourning? That Luis Suarez, eh? If only England had been given some kind of clue to his qualities, then Roy Hodgson could have come up with a plan to combat him. Now we're left depending on the Queen: will she or won't she serve her country and promise Mario Balotelli the bonus he seeks?
I'm afraid I must now hand over the liveblog baton to Paul Doyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bye!
Can you recognise the hand-drawn Panini stickers? Probably, but you might as well make sure here.
Champions League, World Cup and European Championship-winning clumsy tactic-clown Vicente del Bosque has been backed by the Spanish FA despite his side's World Cup calamities.
"From top to bottom in the Federation we are all behind Del Bosque," Jorge Perez, Spain's director of football, told radio station Cope. "If we have the best coach around, why would we change? He wont be affected by the criticism. His family might convince him to leave, but we aren't going to find anyone better. Del Bosque has not resigned. If he does, we will try to convince him to stay."
With the benefit of a few hours' thinking time and perhaps a tiny amount of sleep, Daniel Taylor has written an excellent piece on England's defeat by Uruguay:
Ultimately, it always comes back to the same thing. When Roy Hodgson and his players arrived back in Rio de Janeiro it was to the best training facilities in the city. They have a 72-strong entourage from the Football Association including a psychiatrist, nutritionists, a turf specialist, a cook and at least one guy whose job seems to be to spray the players with water when they start overheating. They have industrial fans and heat chambers and individually tailored recovery drinks after inviting scientists from Loughborough University to study their sweat patterns.
Hodgson has talked to Sir Dave Brailsford and Lord Coe about how to co-ordinate a successful team and everyone is agreed: nothing more could have been done to create the right environment. “No excuses,” Wayne Rooney had said. Steven Gerrard described it as the most meticulously planned operation he had ever known. Hodgson could scarcely have sounded more confident. “Anyone who thinks we can’t win the World Cup has to be barking up the wrong tree,” he said, two days before landing in Brazil.
Yet here we are, embarking on the first inquest before half the teams have even played a second game. England were the team that wanted to play like Spain and, eventually, they managed it. Except the headline in Marca on Thursday was “The End”. England could conceivably have the same written about them later on Friday. They would be out before they have even finished their week-long course of malaria tablets.
And this is what it all comes back to: if everything was arranged so meticulously, every box ticked and everyone approving, there is only one place to begin and that is with the football.
There's more here.
The next few hours' worth of team activity in Brazil:
- Belgium hold a press conference at 12.45pm BST, followed by a closed training session.
- USA hold a press conference and open training session at 1pm BST. Also at 1pm – 10am over there, just enough time for breakfast to settle, there's a Croatia press conference in Mata de São João, an Argentina training session in Vespasiano, and both Portugal, in Campinas, and Mexico, in Santos, will lay on a press conference and training session.
- At 10.30am local time Uruguay and Russia will start training sessions, with Russia also doing a press conference.
- That takes us to 11.30am local time, 2.30pm BST, when Chile and Argentina will hold press conferences, and Spain have a training session and press conference double-whammy.
- At 12pm local time Greece will hold a press conference at the Hotel Radisson, Aracaju, and there's an Australia-themed "media activity" .
- Later in the day we're also promised press conferences, with or without training sessions, from Brazil, Germany, Holland, Japan, Iran, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Colombia have a day off.
'If Blatter is watching, he should hide in the bathroom'
Media Monkey has news of Diego Maradona's new TV show in Venezuela: "De Zurda (From the Left) mixes politics with football commentary and analysis – and according to Maradona was created because 'that’s the way El Commandante Chávez would have wanted it.'"
The FA have published Steven Gerrard's post-match reaction:
They were weak at the back and they were there for the taking. Once we got the equaliser we tried to use the initiative to get the second. At 1-1, as a team, we went for the second goal and maybe we should have been more experienced and gone for the draw.
Who knows what will happen at the moment. Italy are a fantastic team and capable of winning both games but we're clutching at straws. The position we're in is the position we didn't want to be in coming into the tournament, relying on other people's results. It's very difficult at the moment.
There's loads more here.
"Can I just assure you that those of us here in Australia have been shaking our heads in disbelief that Ben Williams scored a World Cup gig," writes Matthew Thompson. Keep an eye out for that Honduras-Ecuador game to get out of control. It's just as well that Honduras are such a gentle, caring side known for making life easy for match officials, then.
Is there anything that Japanese people won't wear on their heads? I mean, every country is followed to World Cups by a legion of colourful supporters with face paint addictions and an enormous collection of gaudy costumes, but Japan's seem to take it a step further. Some of these people seem to be wearing a sheep with a Wimbledon seat cushion on top, attached to their bonce by chin-strap. Why would anyone do that?
Most obviously posed photo of the day
And here's the very same Owen Gibson's report from the mixed zone in Sao Paulo. A taster, on me:
One by one they stepped blinking into the brightly lit corridor of uncertainty, clasping their wash bags like comfort blankets.
Daniel Sturridge, so effervescent and full of life in his pre-match interviews and now displaying an expression somewhere between fury and heartbreak.
A red-eyed Wayne Rooney, eyes fixed forward. Jordan Henderson, exposed and overrun in midfield alongside his club team-mate Steven Gerrard, muttering that he had been “told not to stop”.
Post-match mixed zones are odd places at the best of times, crowds of journalists of all nationalities craning over crush barriers as exhausted, spent players pick their way through a maze and look up, down, anywhere but at those imploring them to stop.
But after a crushing disappointment like England’s defeat to Uruguay, one that all but condemns them to leave this swinging World Cup party at the earliest opportunity, they take on an altogether different hue.
Here are Owen Gibson's thoughts on last night's England game. I don't know why the video was recorded next to a random Brazilian A-road:
"Based on last night's result, England are clearly unlikely to make the Last 16," I'm told. I kind of knew this already, I think. "Bloomberg Sports, the world's leaders in sports analytics technology, have run the numbers and can say that England have a 12.9% chance of progressing. Full numbers below"
For what it's worth (and you can see the full breakdown here) Bloomberg currently consider Brazil to have a 22.1% chance of becoming champions, with Germany second most likely on 15.56%, and Argentina on 13.4%.
Today's match referees:
Italy v Costa Rica: Chile's Enrique Osses, who you may remember from appearance in Ivory Coast v Japan, will control this one.
Switzerland v France: Bjorn Kuipers is the whistle-wielder for this one. One to keep an eye on for a potential final appearances (assuming his own nation don't get there) the Dutchman's recent starring roles include England v Italy, the Real Madrid v Atlético Champions League final, and last year's Confederations Cup final.
Honduras v Ecuador: Australia's Ben Williams finally gets his first World Cup match. Before he left home the 37-year-old, a PE teacher at Belconnen High School – he's taken unpaid leave to be in Brazil – said: "If you don't do well in your first game then you can go home. One decision can end a career. No Australian has refereed past the first round before, so I'm not looking anything past the first game. This dream is the culmination of 22 or 23 years of work as a referee.'' No pressure, then.
'Carrots can fight cancer' – UK media reaction
Media's Roy Greenslade has cast an eye over the reaction to last night's defeat in the British press. Click the link for the full version, but here's a sample:
Among those who ran front page stories, the headlines and copy told a story that sounded as if writers and sub-editors had worked while sobbing.
Over a picture of Wayne Rooney wiping his eyes, the Metro headline said "On their Wayne home." The Daily Telegraph, harking back to that famous Kenneth Wolstenholme commentary in 1966, said: "Fans think it's all over as Uruguay triumph".
There were several references to the incident in 2013 when Suarez was banned for 10 games after biting an opposing player.
So The Guardian went with "All bite on the night" and the Indy chose "Luis Suarez (of course) takes a huge bite out of England's hopes." The Sun's back page, using the Suarez-Gerrard picture, said: "It had to be chew" while Mirror sport went with "Kicked in the teeth" and The Times's supplement chose "Twice bitten". The Daily Star, by contrast, looked to the future with "We need miracle now."
Some newspaper editors didn't even think the story worth more than a page 1 cross-reference. The Daily Mirror splashed instead on Rik Mayall's funeral. The Daily Mail preferred to lead with one of its typical cancer alarms, carrying only a picture of Wayne Rooney's wife. And theDaily Express, claiming "carrots can fight cancer", ran a picture of grief-stricken fans.
Hello everybody! So I'll get my personal ball rolling with some Luis Suárez quotes from last night. Is it just me or has he totally invented some motivation here? I mean, whatever works for him – and it clearly does work for him – but nobody I know has laughed about his attitude over the last few years. They've been amazed by his attitude (to football) or horrified by his attitude (to Evra and Ivanovic, and what those incidents suggested about him). But laughter? Not that I recall.
Before the game too many people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years. This is a very good time for me. I want to see what they think now.
Oh, Simon's here, so I'm going to hand over to him now. Ta ra.
David Wall is backing Sepp:
So England lose close games to teams just ahead of them in the FIFA rankings yet people say Sepp doesn't know anything about football. Five-more-years! Five-more-years!"
I'll tell you what could be tasty? Honduras v Ecuador tonight, that's what. There'll be more biff than Froch-Groves II. In November's 'friendly' there were just the two red cards in a 2-2 draw. Carlo Costly (remember him Birmingham fans?) scored both for the Hondurans and, surprise, surprise, Wilson Palacios was sent off. He can't be sent off tonight, though, because he was sent off against France.
David Hytner is keeping an eye on Italy, who have been getting a lot of praise for the way they hogged the ball against a still-optimistic-and-pumped-up England in the opening game.
It was the manner of the performance that earned Italy the plaudits. They are used to being lauded as streetwise tournament result-getters but it has been different over recent days, when they have heard a lot of praise from around the world for the attractiveness of their game. They completed an incredible 93.2 per cent of their passes. It feels good to be praised.
With all this focus on England's failings, it's worth pointing out the huge improvement in Uruguay's performance from their shambolic showing against Costa Rica. I watched that match and their midfield was a porous mess, struggling to gain control against one of the most unfancied teams in the tournament. Last night, the three of Rios, Rodrigu and Gonzal never once allowed England to gain control. Rios, particularly, improved 10-fold, chasing the ball like a dog after its favourite toy. While Suárez ultimately proved the difference, had the rest of the Uruguay squad not stepped up as they did, there would have been no platform upon which a victory could be built. It's no surprise that Lugano's absence from the defence resulted in a much improved resilience at the back too.
Ray Wilkins has spoken, everyone. What could England have done better? "I'm not an aggressive person, but England should have tested Suárez's knee," says Ray.
Podcast action! You've still got half an hour to go before work starts, unless you are me. So listen to World Cup Football Daily on yesterday's action.
A good day to bury bad news. Hull City have dropped the club's name off their new badge. Oh Assam Allam, you sneak. Good try. But it's going in this blog whether you like it or not.
This is a more stripped back and modern approach which still celebrates the club's heritage and history by focusing on our famous and well established Tiger's head. We have also introduced '1904' to the crest to document the year our club was formed. Our first ever step into European competition is a new era for us all and we are all excited about the season ahead," said Allam's son, Ehab.
Octopuses, elephants and parrots predicting scorelines is old hat.
Halfway through the match our young daughter cried out from her cot. She'd spectacularly filled her nappy. Better prediction than the psychic octopus.
Thanks Rowan Hooper. And I bet you that nappy isn't going to hang around to live another day is it?
Morning. Gregg here for a bit. Hey England fans, there's still hope. Oh, what's that? So, apparently no side has ever lost their first two group games and qualified. Italy will need to win their next two games. Mario Balotelli will have to be in Queen-kissing form. Cesare Prandelli says Balotelli can "take us to the moon" when he's on form. So that's it then. Italy will have to go to the moon for England to qualify. That's how desperate it is.
Phil Jagielka isn't expecting to be playing in the last 16:
There's a small chance but we are not exactly expecting something like that. We have to go out there and give a good performance against Costa Rica.
Cheer up, Phil. Some maths bod on the radio said there was a one in nine chance that England would make it to the last 16. But there was only a one in 365 chance today would be 20 June. And yet it is! Therefore, England will go through. And probably win the World Cup. I got an A in maths GCSE, so that's nailed on fact.
Anyway, Phil's not pointing any fingers on the second Suarez goal:
It didn't go our way with Steven [Gerrard] flicking the ball on, and you just hope that he mis-hits one, but he hit the target and they win the game. We've not seen it again, but as a defender that's the last thing you want to see. A punt down the pitch, a flick-on and a goal. As you can tell by my voice, everyone is absolutely devastated
Another email. "As a neutral who follows British press regularly, I find the delusion surrounding the World Cup in England only comparable to that surrounding the EU," writes Yazan Badran. "The truth is, England are a mediocre team at best. Not a single player is truly world class. None of them have experience playing in other leagues, or dealing with other footballing cultures, and it painfully shows in how one-dimensional the team is."
Well, Fraser Forster plays in Scotland, but that may actually reinforce your point.
"This false misplaced pride/cultural exceptionalism is gonna keep kicking you in the balls, I'm afraid."
I think a small part of us quite enjoys it, Yazan.
An email! From David Wall!
"Was there something wrong with ITV (at least in my region) last night again, did they show different matches in different areas? The game I watched was pretty much the one in which England played the way everyone wanted before-hand, attacked, looked pretty dangerous, should have been facing 10 men from mid-way in the first half, and lost to a couple of brilliant finishes after a school-boy error and a weak tackle in the middle of the pitch (reminiscent of Beckham against Brazil in 2002). But everyone else seemed to have watched, and were complaining about a game where England's performance was being compared badly to the one away in Ukraine in the qualifiers in which they'd taken football back to the dark ages"
I watched it on SBS in Australia, David. I think people over here just thought the whole thing was funny. I, on other hand, do not find getting up at 4.30am amusing in any circumstances.
Tony Cascarino has had a pop at the England defence.
I don't want to keep banging on about John Terry, but Chelsea's captain would never have been caught like that; he would never have been suckered into that static position where you get caught by the man behind the ball and then, suddenly, the ball is in the net.
A fair point, a World Cup defence marshalled by John Terry would never let in the kind of route-one nonsense we saw against Uruguay.
Luis Suarez has been rather chipper after his two goals last night. Let's see what he has to say for himself:
Before the game too many people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years. This is a very good time for me. I want to see what they think now.
I think it was more of a nervous laugh, Luis. Like the way you laugh when you're scared someone might bite you. Or humiliate you on the world stage.
Still, Luis was a little forgiving to one Englishman. Once he'd humiliated him on the world stage anyway:
"I told him [Steven Gerrard] to keep going. He's the best player I've played with on the pitch. This is an unlucky moment for him. I don't like it when he hurts like this. I said 'Keep going, forget this game, you're one of the best'.
Quite, he's laying on 50% of your goals at this World Cup.
Are you an England fan? Want to hear more England fans complaining about England? In English? No? Don't watch this then. Not an England fan? Fancy chuckling away at grumbling England fans crying into their red and white fuzzy wigs? Watch this then:
Mario Balotelli: not satisfied with dismantling the mystique around shaky, outdated insitutions like England's defence, he's now started on the monarchy. If there's a more skilled attention-grabber in football than Mario, I am yet too meet him/her. Technically, I've yet to meet Mario too but these are small details:
Morning. Want to read the best piece out there on England's failings at the World Cup? Look no further than Barney Ronay's article on Steven Gerrard. The Premier League doesn't come out well from the whole thing.
And want to read the best piece out there on why Australia have a very talented coach at the helm? Look no further than Aaron Timms's excellent piece on Ange Postecoglou.
Tom will be here soon. In the meantime, catch up with the latest edition of our World Cup Daily podcast.