Saturday, December 16, 2017
Sports

Uruguay tops England at World Cup

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Dropping to the left knee that was surgically repaired last month, Luis Suarez was euphoric Thursday.

The striker's second goal of the game gave Uruguay a 2-1 win against England. But its meaning went beyond Brazil. Vilified for racially abusing one opponent and biting another during Premier League games, Suarez reveled in beating England.

"I'm enjoying this moment because of all I suffered, the criticism I received," he said. "Before the game, too many people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years. I want to see what they think now."

Suarez headed in a cross in the 39th minute. After Wayne Rooney's first-ever World Cup goal tied it, he took advantage of a muffed header by English captain — and Liverpool teammate — Steven Gerrard to break in alone and score in the 85th.

Suarez, for all his glee, had sympathy for the midfielder. "He's the best player I've played with on the pitch," he said. "This is an unlucky moment for him. I don't like it when he hurts like this."

England, in general, is hurting. Having also lost to Italy, it faces not advancing from group play for the first time since 1958. It has to beat Costa Rica on Tuesday then have a better goal-differential than Costa Rica or Uruguay (if Italy beats Uruguay on Tuesday).

"I thought we controlled Suarez well," coach Roy Hodgson said. "But he did well to get away at the back post for the first goal. And then it was an unfortunate flick from Gerrard that leads to the second goal."

Colombia 2, IVORY COAST 1: James Rodriguez and Juan Quintero scored in a six-minute span of the second half for Colombia, which clinched a berth in the knockout round with the Greece-Japan tie. "We have had two wins with players who are playing their first World Cup," said coach Jose Pekerman, whose nation is in the World Cup for the first time since 1998. "This is going to help them grow."

Greece 0, Japan 0: The shorthanded Greeks salvaged a point. Both still can advance to the knockout stage. Midfielder Kostas Katsouranis picked up his second yellow card in the 38th. But Greece, which earlier lost 3-0 to Colombia, avoided mistakes. "My players were brilliant," coach Fernando Santos said. "Without the red card, we probably would have won the game." Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said he was frustrated his players failed to take advantage of the extra space: "We played too slowly. This is not a positive result. We absolutely needed to win."

 
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