Luis Suárez scored twice as England fell to defeat to Uruguay to stand on the brink of elimination from the World Cup
And with that, I'm off. It's been thrilling, in very many ways. Until next time, bye!
This is what England's manager, Roy Hodgsonout, had to say to ITV:
We're more than disappointed. We're devastated. We believed we could do enough in this game to get a result, and ghaving worked so hard to get back to 1-1 I fully believed we'd come back to win or at least draw the game. To lose the game is an unbelievable blow and I don't know what to say at this moment in time.
It's a goal we don't expect to concede. Long goal-kicks with the type of player we have in the team, we deal with them. We came up against a strong defensive unit but did enough I think to at least get the draw we would have needed, but we didn't get it.
Their first goal I thought was exceptionally good. The second one I think he was a bit fortunate, but of course when he got himself free he made literally no mistake. We know what Suárez can do.
When we scored I thought we'd win the game. We'd been in control for such a long period of time, after the first five minutes of the second half. We got ourselves back on track and they'd got nowhere near our goal. But it doesn't matter how many times you get the ball near the goal, it's how many times you put it in the net, and on both occasions we haven't done it enough.
Here's Daniel Taylor's match report. Read it and weep.
Phil Jagielka has spoken to the telly:
Gutting. To have played so well again in spells, but unfortunately a little bit of luck goes their way. It's a similar story to the Italy game, we played pretty well but obviously not well enough. As a defender, the last thing you want to see is a punt down the pitch, a flick-on and a goal. We'll look at what's gone on, but as you can tell from my voice, everyone's pretty gutted in there.
There's a small chance, but we're not exactly expecting anything like that. We've got to out now and hopefully put a good performance in and get something from Costa Rica.
That's twice in three World Cup that England have conceded a goal direct from an opposition goal-kick. How can this be?
Come back Sven, all is forgiven! How we long for the days when we could grind out a dispiriting-yet-simultaneously-somehow-joyful victory over much-hyped South Americans in the World Cup group stages.
How's the much-lauded atmosphere in the England camp now?
Not a vintage England performance. Not a vintage Uruguay performance either, but they outgenius England 1-0.
"So, Stevie G has thrown away Liverpool's title hopes and England's World Cup chances," notes Mike. "Quite an impact player."
The referee blows the final whistle and England's World Cup dream is not quite mathematically over!
90+5 mins: Rooney's cross is deflected behind, and Joe Hart is up for the corner! Which goes off an Englishman and out of play. Goal kick.
90+3 mins: There's a whole lot of cuddling going on on the Uruguay bench, as England thoroughly fail to turn stoppage time to unrelenting pressure. "You must be right about the Spanish speaking," notes Paulo Esteves Cardoso. "It HAS been an advantage! Look at Uruguay, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile! And as for Spain …"
90+1 mins: England push forward, and the ball ends up with Lambert on the left. He realises he's unable to cross to himself, gets confused and lets the ball run out of play. "If you blame Gerrard, you don't understand football," says Josh Collis. "If he doesn't challenge for the header, he's making no attempt to disrupt Uruguay's play. He can't be expected to predict his two centre backs going for a wander and forgetting that they're footballers."
90 mins: There will be five minutes of stoppage time, which is not as many as there should be, but still … five minutes!
89 mins: Another substitution: Suárez is off, and Coates is on.
88 mins: Apropos the goal, Suárez gets great credit for anticipating something that nobody else – least of all Cahill, his marker – did; and Hart went down way too early, allowing the shot to fly right where his chest should have been.
87 mins: It's Lambert time! Henderson is coming off.
86 mins: About five Uruguayans gang up on Rooney, and England get a free-kick in a decent spot on the left flank.
84 mins: A random punt downfield and Gerrard backheads it straight into the path of Suárez, who slams the ball past Hart.
82 mins: The teams are basically taking it in turns to spend five minutes looking woeful.
82 mins: Suarez's dangerous cross is headed out by Cahill. "Oh that's nice! When Rooney scored Brazilian TV played a burst of 'god save the queen'," notes David Horwell. That is nice. I remember French TV in 1998 interrupting the England-Romania match to show cartoons mocking the English.
80 mins: The only reason I mentioned the referee's mother tongue is that I was informed by some ITV pundit or another that it might be key. Please don't be angry with me. I was gently mocking them. I'll do it more explicitly next time.
79 mins: A substitution for Uruguay, Jorge Fucile replaces Pereira.
78 mins: Baines crosses from the left, Sturridge controls, spins, shuffles his feet a bit and then sidefoots the ball goalwards. Muslera saves, easily enough.
77 mins: Rooney chests the ball into Sturridge's pass, and he falls over the nearest defender. No penalty, rightly.
75 mins: Glen Johnson finds space on the right, takes the ball inside his marker and slides it low across goal where Rooney runs unchallenged to tap in at the far post. Rooney! Goal!!!
73 mins: Sturridge spins and shoots from 20 yards, low but straight at the keeper. The thing is, England need a goal, and Rickie Lambert can't help scoring for England. What's he doing on the bench, Roy?
73 mins: A Uruguayan sticks the ball out of play, and the Spanish-speaking referee gives them the throw-in.
71 mins: Another substitution for England: Adam Lallana replaces Danny Welbeck. I really don't understand these substitutions – we don't need infinite new attacking midfielders.
69 mins: "So, in the first game, a 19-year-old kid plays great, while the perennially disappointing superstar plays out of position to the detriment of the team," notes Andrew Gerrard. "In a must win game our genius manger decides to switch them, and when things aren't working takes the kid off, leaving the perennially disappointing superstar on the field. You couldn't make it up." Sure, but Rooney, without being outstanding, has probably been England's best player tonight.
68 mins: Gerrard clears out Cristian Rodriguez with a knee-high challenge, and earns himself a booking.
67 mins: Uruguay's first substitution sees Lodeiro go off and Christian Stuani come on. "I know that logic dictates that the doctor should get a final say on whether a player stays on after a blow to a head. But, I cannot not admire Pereira," writes Prateek Chadha. "A man playing a man's game- totally focused and ready to leave it all on the field for his team and country. What a stud!"
65 mins: Sturridge finds space on the left, and with Rooney's run to the near post being well shadowed, if there were only someone making a run to the near post maybe he'd have been able to cross to them, rather than limply passing it to Muslera.
64 mins: The substitution has been made: Sterling off, Ross Barkley on.
64 mins: England find space on the left, and Sturridge wastes it with a dinked crossy thing basically straight at the keeper.
62 mins: Alvaro Pereira took a Sterling-shaped knee to the head in that jinking run, and is looking in a bad way, quite possibly an unconscious way. Now he's up! Up, and fighting with the doctor about whether he'll be able to play on. Doctor says no, player says yes.
61 mins: Talking of whom, Sterling dances into the penalty area and then dives over Lodeiro's foot.
60 mins: Suarez gets goal-side of Cahill, but falls over and concedes a goal kick. I'm hearing England are preparing to take off Sterling.
58 mins: Uruguay take two minutes over a free-kick in their own half and that's a ninth of the second half used up in stoppages, within 12 minutes of it starting. "Dear Harry Tuttle," writes Assaf Oron. "Remind me, how many citizens poor little England has, and how many Uruguay? You picked the wrong match to complain about your country being too small to stand on its own legs in the World Cup." You make a decent point.
55 mins: Another cross from the left, and Welbech slides in to get it and misses, catching the goalkeeper on his knee. This presents Muslera with the opportunity to roll around a while and have a five-minute lie-down, and he does not refuse it.
54 mins: Great chance for England! Baines sends the ball in from the left and it breaks to Rooney, whose left-foot shot is too close to the keeper, and saved. Oh, Rooney! Will it never happen?
53 mins: England have the ball for a few moments. Deep breath now, let's start again.
52 mins: Big miss from Cavani! There's all sorts of space at the moment for Uruguay, and Lodeiro pokes the ball to Cavani who tries to curl the ball across Hart and into the far post, but fails to get any curl.
52 mins: Whatever England changed at half-time they need to un-change, sharpish.
51 mins: The ball deflects to Suarez, in all sorts of space out to the right of the penalty area, but his shot is weak and wide.
50 mins: England are looking very uncomfortable, but Alvaro Gonzalez's shot is blocked by Gerrard.
49 mins: Desperate save by Hart! Suarez goes for goal from the corner again, and comes even closer to scoring than last time.
49 mins: Godin's free-kick from the half-way line floats straight out of play. The referee gives a corner, because it went near Johnson. He speaks Spanish, you know.
47 mins: This time it's Suarez on the left-hand corner of the penalty area, trying to curl the ball onto Cavani's forehead. But this time Jagielka clears.
46 mins: Game (back) on!
They're discussing that Godin elbow on ITV now. "You need to have that kind of luck, or help," says Gus Poyet. Anyway, the teams are back out. Deep breath now.
Of course, Uruguay's captain should have been sent off, so it's all OK – we can always blame it on someone else.
For me, England need to bring on Rickie Lambert, and also call up Ashley Cole (who's having a very good World Cup). We've found space in wide areas, but don't really have anyone in the middle to profit from the crosses we might produce. We haven't found any space in central areas, where Rooney and Sturridge like to roam. We're England. Stick a big lad up front.
"No doubt the whole of the internet will be writhing in anti-Henderson/Gerrard/Rooney/Welbeck/Sturbridge/Sterling ranting, but once again they have done largely well, and it is the defence which needs urgent attention," writes Paul Devlin. "Henderson and Gerrard have kept the ball quite well, and I think Gerrard hasn't given the ball away at all apart from the odd set piece [except for the goal – ed]. The forwards have generally moved well, and Rooney (poor header apart) has been involved more. But I would back Uruguay to score again before England, as it looks like they might only need to have half a chance against Jagielka and Hart."
Uruguay have put a shift in. Cavani is a monster, a living, breathing work ethic. England are not coping very well with being endlessly harried, and have been surrendering possession all over the pitch – leading, eventually, to the goal, which came after Gerrard was robbed on the half-way line.
"Right now, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are watching this on television," notes Harry Tuttle. "Right now, Sir Alex Ferguson is enjoying his retirement, the day-to-day struggle of club management being too much for him. Right now, the UK is recognised by the UN as a nation-state, whereas none of England, Scotland and Wales are. Why do we continue to make things difficult for ourselves? We are British, right?" Harry, do not speak the unspeakable.
That's half-time, and it has not gone well for England, who are losing one moment of beautiful, fluid football to nil.
45+1 mins: There will only be one minute of first-half stoppage time.
43 mins: … which is cleared to the half-way line by Lodeiro.
43 mins: And another corner …
42 mins: From the corner, England win another corner. Nothing comes of it, but a few moments later Sterling chips the ball into the mixer and they have another. And we know what practice makes, don't we?
41 mins: Chance! Rooney skips away from his marker in midfield and slides the ball through for Sturridge, who perhaps delays his shot a little bit too long before lashing it towards the near post. Muslera saves.
40 mins: Uruguay have produced 20 seconds of the highest class. It's all it takes.
39 mins: Cavani has the ball on the left corner of the area, and chips the most perfect cross onto the head of Suárez, lurking behind Cahill, and he does the rest.
37 mins: I wonder what Rooney's shot-to-goal ratio is in the Premier League?
36 mins: Sturridge sends a speculative 30-yarder wildly wide. "If Rooney were two inches taller that ball would possibly have broken his nose," sniffs Paul Devlin. "It came off the centre of his forehead. It was just a poor miss."
35 mins: From about the 10th minute, I've been thinking that this might be quite a good game once it settles down a bit. I'm still waiting.
32 mins: If Wayne Rooney were two inches taller, England would be a goal up. Is that the Gazza-at-the-back-stick-in-Euro-96 moment?
31 mins: Gerrard curls the free-kick towards the far post, where Rooney meets it, two yards out, and heads it onto the corner of post and bar.
31 mins: Now Welbeck is fouled by Caceres near the left-hand corner flag. "As a neutral, the most intriguing aspect of the match so far has been Martin Caceres' almost comically oversized shorts," writes Jerry Parks. "Every other Uruguayan player is sporting the same ultra skin-tight look that is de rigeur among the Puma-sponsored teams, yet for some reason Martin is out there sporting a pair of what I think can legitimately be deemed culottes. Why? How? Does he just get an Andre the Giant sized-pair and cinch them really tight? Does the Uruguay kit man ensure he gets a custom made pair? Truly a fascinating question for someone with way too much time on his hands."
29 mins: Godin gets away with one! Sturridge dummies to Rooney and spins for the return pass, but Godin blocks him with an elbow. A yellow card every time, which of course would have been his second. The referee keeps his cards pocketed.
28 mins: A lovely Sturridge flick releases Welbeck, who runs out of pitch before he releases the ball.
27 mins: Training-ground special! Suárez passes it low to Cavani, sprinting from far post to near, perhaps 15 yards from goal, but his first-time shot flies over.
27 mins: Whenever England have the ball there are three Uruguayans on top of them, and they're not dealing with it very well. Uruguay now have a corner.
26 mins: Suárez smacks in a free-kick from a deep position on the left wing which affords Hart a little mildly-jostled catching practise.
25 mins: If anyone ever tells you how important it is to retain possession in international football or you'll never get it back etc etc and so on and so forth, laugh in their face and show them the first 25 minutes of this match. "Am I the only person who thinks this game resembles pinball?" wonders David Johnston.
23 mins: The ball deflects to Cahill, who miscues his right-foot volley under no pressure, earning much cat-calling from the overwhelmingly Uruguay-supporting stands. The ball, fortunately, floats out for a throw-in.
22 mins: Uruguay win a string of throw-ins on the left and then swiftly switch it to the right, where space opens up but Lodeiro's pass to Suárez is overhit.
19 mins: Hodgson wasn't wrong about the interchanging – Sterling has already been spotted on the left, on the right and in the middle. "When I moved to the US from the Ukraine 15 years ago I remember telling a new schoolmate that I was from the Ukraine," recalls Peter. "Whereupon he told me that he thought the UK was cool. After that I was known as the new student from England. Go England?" Get behind your team, man.
18 mins: Gerrard's corner fails to clear the first defender. Chap called Suárez.
17 mins: A decent spell of possession for England ends with Sturridge having a shot charged down by Pereira. Corner.
16 mins: This is a high-tempo, low-accuracy start from both sides. It's very English-football, in other words.
15 mins: Ooooooh! A totally miscued clearance from Jagielka rolls to Rodriguez on the edge of the area, and his drive zooms just over the bar and great pace.
14 mins: Caceres loops a long ball towards Suárez, who is offside.
13 mins: Rooney is fouled on the half-way line. Uruguay are conceding free-kicks at the rate of one every two and a half minutes, a statistic which sounds reassuringly precise but in fact I just made up. Still, they're conceding lots of free-kicks.
12 mins: And Jagielka takes the ball near the half-way line, waits for Suárez to close him down, waits some more, realises Suárez is about to take the ball off him, and then booters it down the other end.
10 mins: Oooooooooh! Rooney's free-kick misses the corner of the goal by a couple of feet with Fernando Muslera just standing and admiring.
9 mins: Yellow card! England fizz down the other end, and Sturridge tries to chip the ball through only for Diego Godin to bat it away with his forearm, conceding a dangerous free-kick and earning himself a booking.
9 mins: Suárez attempts a one-two with Cristian Rodriguez but overhits his return pass.
8 mins: Very famous footballer in football-watching shock!
7 mins: Sterling is fouled on the right, and Baines' free-kick is headed away by Cavani. "I love the World Cup, maybe more than my children, but I can't take the Johnny-Come-Four-Yearly fans who seemingly don't allow their lack of knowledge to stop them venting their opinions," rages Niall Mullen. "As a Liverpool & Ireland fan I am not pre-disposed to liking Wayne Rooney but he is clearly England's best striker with years of premier league, champions league & international goals to prove it."
6 mins: Gerrard releases Johnson on the right with an excellent pass, but his cross is a little bit loopy and Rooney falls over before he can try to win it.
6 mins: Quite famous comedian in football-watching shock!
5 mins: Which nearly goes in at the near post! Did Suárez shoot from the corner-flag there, the cheeky blighter? Certainly Hart edges off his line, and is very nearly caught out as the corner flies towards the near post.
4 mins: Suarez gets free on the left, but his cross hits Cahill in the noggin and flies to Hart who, surprised, bats it behind for a corner.
4 mins: Suárez gets his first touch, and doesn't fall over or start crying or anything, so he does seem to be actually fit.
3 mins: Baines' pass to Sturridge is overhit, and the keeper comes to collect. But then he fails to collect, the ball bounces off his chest and nearly falls to Sturridge! Nervous moments there!
2 mins: England attack decently, but earn no more than a throw-in after Sterling is tackled.
2 mins: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is apparently in Sao Paulo tonight.
1 min: 'Ave some of that! England's first touch is from Glen Johnson and involves booting the ball 70 yards straight out of play.
1 min: We're off! Uruguay get the match under way. "The Colombian comentators both agree in predicting a Uruguay victory," reports someone who doesn't sign off his emails with a name. Great news – here's me thinking every commentator thinks England will win. "This is in line with the common belief over here that South American teams are better than European ones. An argument that has been developed over the last 16 years in which Colombia have failed to qualify precisely because the qualifying group is, according to the theory, so much more difficult than European ones. I have always disagreed, but kept my mouth shut to maintain relations with the in-laws. Anyway, if England manage to qualify, it looks like we'll be playing Colombia in the next round. A fixture that won't end happily whatever happens."
If you've got a television you are probably able to follow this match in moving images. I don't need to tell you that text is also an option. If you're after a third, there's always The Guardian's Uruguay v England gallery.
Meanwhile, here's Whigfield on God Save the Queen:
Researching this, I got really curious and spent an evening listening to the various anthems of the world. There are some good ones in there. I like the Danish one because it’s very sweet, the Dutch one is very majestic, and Australia’s reflects the way Australians are – they’re very bright, joyful, easygoing, happy people – and Germany’s quite militaristic. And God Save the Queen does that too – it’s very subtle, calm and controlled, in the way people outside the UK think British people are. I wouldn’t want to put these lyrics into a pop song, but they also reflect that mannered, reserved attitude. It was written in the middle of the 18th century, and it reflects I think the era it was made. It’s how people spoke in those days. It’s quite a good tune to sing along to, very simple, but I’m not sure everyone connects with the words now. Watching the team as the anthem plays before a match some of the players are just mumbling along. I think that you should maybe rewrite the anthems every 50 years, because the world is moving so fast, and I think it would be interesting to hear what would be created
And here's Whigfield on Saturday nights:
Once upon a time, really not very long ago, I spent about two weeks of my life chasing pop stars and asking them to review the national anthems of random countries. So, as they play out in Sao Paulo, may I suggest you have a read, now or later.
Uruguay's is one of my favourites – I love the way the intro is so long the camera has nearly always panned down the full line of players before they start singing. David Gray, on the other hand, did not:
I’m getting oodles of eastern pride with lusty overtones of death or glory, I’m getting a spine of florid pomposity with top notes of Tom and Jerry, I’m getting Viennese marching music with a strong hint of moustache oil, I’m getting really bored, this thing goes on and on … Weighing in at a hefty five minutes, six seconds, this is officially the longest national anthem in the world.
The players are in the tunnel. This is happening. People, gird thy loins.
Where's Oxlade-Chamberlain? Why couldn't he produce a Suárez-style miracle recovery from knee injury to assume his rightful position as off-the-bench terror?
"Deserves a Match? Deserves a Match? Wayne Rooney has played eleven years of English football and not one of them was any good," rages Harley Metcalfe. "I do not desire to disparage the fellow, but, in the words of Tolstoy: 'An honest man and an honest woman may be insulted, but to tell a thief he’s a thief is simply la constatation d’un fait.'
He quoted Tolstoy. I am beaten.
"As soon as the warm-ups over you go into the dressing-room and as you put your shin pads on, you're really thinking about the game," offers Andros Townsend on ITV. Cheers for the insight, Andros.
"Why do England fans have such meek expectations of this Liverpool vs. Suarez kickabout? Uruguay were smoked by…Costa Rica (no offense to the proud Central American nation) while England looked reasonably good against Italy," writes Peter Oh. "Suarez will play his first game since knee surgery, and England have no injuries to speak of. I hate to quote John Terry, but Lions supporters should…man up!!! Anything but an England win will be a surprise if you ask me. Yes I know, no one asked me."
Pah. The thing is, England could lose today and so long as they string a few passes together on a couple of occasions nobody will be too upset. Spain, on the other hand, went to Brazil expecting to come back as champions and return in ruins. Nothing ventured, nothing lost.
That is a reasonable argument, although Sterling has been played there often by Liverpool and isn't truly out of position. I also think Rooney deserves a match playing in his best position, or at least two-thirds of one. Finally, I hope that if England need a plan B, C and D, the changes don't come in the shape of an endless procession of attacking midfielders as they did last Saturday (when surely the team was crying out for Lambert).
The latest from Sao Paulo:
Roy Hodgson speaks, explaining that Sterling was played centrally against Italy specifically to counteract the threat of Pirlo, and without Pirlo he is free to return to the flank tonight:
Raheem will go wide this wide and Wayne will play more central, but otherwise it's pretty much the same team that we had against Italy. Basically those three players are very interchangeable and I'm expecting quite a lot of interchange amongst them.
You have to trust in their experience, their belief in themselves and the way we play. I'm sure they've got that belief. You can never totally predict the outcome of a football match – all you can predict is that your team is in the right shape to play the game.
"So far it's 0-0, still looking good for England, right?" tubthumps Jonah Bloch-Johnson. Their performance so far has indeed been flawless.
I'll update with more on the England-fans-attacked-with-explosive-device story when I get it, obviously. There seems to be a lot of rumour and counter-rumour and very little established fact: