Friday, June 20, 2014

World Cup 2014 : Uruguay vs England 2-1

The game was a do or die for both Uruguay & England, as both had lost their opening encounter. Known for playing hard tackles & physical games, both the teams boast of star players & have the capability to stun the best of the teams on their day.....and as expected, it all started in whirlwind fashion.
As expected Uruguay fielded Luis Suarez, despite injury rumors & that turned out to be the clincher..... with his experience of playing the English Premier League for years, Suarez knifed through the England defense to win the game for Uruguay.
Within a couple of minutes, England came close to scoring with Uruguayan goalkeeper Muslera fumbling to hold a measured Baines cross inside the box & Sturridge lurking close by failing to capitalise.....on the other side Suarez comes close to scoring as his shot takes Joe Hart by surprise & he just manages to parry the ball for a corner. Around the 10th minute, when Godin stopped the ball with his forearm, just outside the box, Wayne Rooney, took a beautiful, curving free kick that had the whole of Uruguayan defense gaping, including the goalkeeper, but the ball floated inches above the bar..... intentions clear, both teams were pressing for the kill. The first half hour went by, as even stevens, with Sterling, Baines, Sturridge & of course Rooney combining well for the English, & on the other side, Suarez coming in place of Forlan combining with Cavani, Godin, was a good contest. England came close to scoring again, as Rooney headed a Gerrard free kick only to hit the corner of the post...a couple of inches & the ball would have gone in..... English fans going up in anguish.
It was finally around the 40th minute that the deadlock was broken, as Cavani send in a near perfect cross & Suarez lurking behind a slightly slow Cahill, headed in.... 1-0. It was a classic combination of Latin American touch football. England rebounded with gusto with Rooney leading the charge & earned a couple of corners, but no goals, as Uruguay went into the half time with that important lead.
Second half begane with Suarez & Cavani missing gilt edged chances to increase the lead & then Rooney gets a ball from Baines, & yet again sends in a rasping left footer, only to be saved by Muslera....soon after Welbech too slides in, but catches Muslera on the knee & Uruguayans start their time wasting tactics, much to the dismay of the English players....however, they persisted hard for a life saving equaliser & finally Glen Johnson, shielding his marker, slid the ball past the goal & Rooney, lurking around ran in & tapped the ball past Muslera.....Gooaaal... it was a frenzied moment for the English supporters 1-1. With the match heading towards a draw, both teams became sluggish, looking for that one off counter attack, & it was then that Muslera send in a booming clearance into the midfield, where Cavani & Gerrard collided & Gerrard backheaded straight into the feet of Suarez, who lapped this opportunity & slammed the ball past Joe Hart.... it was 2-1 for the Latin Americans. Five minutes of extra time did not help the cause for the crest fallen English players, though Rooney tried his best. Overall, England enjoyed the ball possession & played well, though Gerrard will rue his back head that probably knocked his team out of contention.
Mathematically, England can still qualify, if Italy beats Costa Rica & then Uruguay & England beats Costa Rica by a large margin !!!...too many ifs & buts to rely on.... looks like the end of the road for England in this World Cup.....they can now only play for pride to win at least their last game.