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On this day in 2014: England suffer World Cup woe at hands of Luis Suarez
The Uruguay striker’s double all but eliminated Roy Hodgson’s side – but he went on to make contrasting headlines by biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.
Luis Suarez scored twice to push England to the brink of a group stage elimination at the World Cup on this day in 2014.
The then-Liverpool striker made headlines for good and bad reasons at the tournament in Brazil but produced his best against England in Sao Paulo.
Suarez netted either side of a Wayne Rooney reply to condemn Roy Hodgson’s side to a 2-1 defeat and leave them bottom of Group D with zero points after two games.
Rooney was England’s biggest threat, curling a free-kick narrowly wide and then heading against the bar from close range from a Steven Gerrard cross.
Yet Uruguay were more organised and Suarez more clinical, despite not being fully fit as he returned to action following knee surgery.
His first goal came as he twisted expertly to guide a header past Joe Hart from an Edinson Cavani cross just before half-time.
England rallied after the break, with Rooney testing Fernando Muslera before finally breaking through by turning in a Glen Johnson cross for his first World Cup finals goal 15 minutes from time.
Suarez, however, was to have the final word. With five minutes remaining, Muslera launched the ball upfield and captain Gerrard succeeded only in flicking it into his Liverpool colleague’s path.
Suarez made no mistake as he raced into the area and steadied himself to lash home a ferocious shot.
The inquest began almost immediately but manager Hodgson insisted he had no intention of quitting.
“I’m bitterly disappointed, of course, but I don’t feel I need to resign,” said Hodgson, who conceded his side’s chances of progressing were “unbelievably slim”.
He added: “To be in with a chance of continuing we really needed a result and we didn’t get it.”
England’s fate was confirmed the following day when Costa Rica beat Italy to put the top two spots in the group out of reach.
They could not even claim a consolation victory in their final game as they played out a drab goalless draw with Costa Rica.
As for Uruguay, they went on to beat a 10-man Italy side 1-0 to qualify for the last 16, but that was far from the full story. Suarez again proved the main talking point but this time for altogether different reasons after biting Giorgio Chiellini.