Suarez the difference as end nears for England: how Stats Zone saw Uruguay 2-1 England
England once again clawed their way back into the game then saw it slip between their fingers thanks to a familiar face. After Mario Balotelli's winner for Italy on Saturday, this time it was Luis Suarez doing the double damage, his late winner leaving England requiring snookers to reach the knockouts.
England started the stronger, with more possession and passes in the early stages.
That remained the case halfway through a somewhat cagey first half...
... in which it was notable that Uruguay were going vertical into last third.
England were on the front foot, with far more attempted dribbles.
Uruguay were winning loose balls in their banks of four, while England were regaining it in full-back positions.
On the half-hour Wayne Rooney hit the bar from a Steven Gerrard free-kick, but despite playing in the No.10 role Rooney wasn't dominating the centre of the park - while Daniel Sturridge was frequently pulling wide to make space for others.
The first shot on target went in: Suarez cleverly nodded home a very good Edinson Cavani cross.
By half-time England were shading it on shots, but had only got 1 on target.
England had 60% possession and a 79% completion rate to Uruguay's 70%.
England also had the edge on final-third passes, with Uruguay still going fruitlessly long - although their time would come.
As is so often the case, crosses weren't doing much for either team.
Uruguay were certainly getting stuck in...
... and the only final-third aerial duel England won was Rooney's header onto the bar.
Meanwhile, England's triangles weren't quite working: Gerrard and Jordan Henderson were struggling to link play to Rooney or into the hole.
Despite nominally playing in that hole, Rooney himself wasn't linking with his fellow forwards: 2 completed passes to Sturridge, 2 to Raheem Sterling, 0 to Danny Welbeck.
Indeed, as against Italy - when he had been playing in that controversial left-wing role - Rooney had completed 13 first-half passes.
Uruguay came out strongly after half-time and rattled in as many shots in 14 minutes as they had in the whole first half.
However, England were still moving the ball around more.
Indeed, it was far from surprising when England equalised in the 74th minute, Rooney finally breaking his World Cup duck with a (well-timed) tap-in after brilliant work down the right wing from Glen Johnson.
With just over 10 minutes to play, England were dominant; in the second half they had completed 128 passes to Uruguay's 38.
However, it only takes a second to score a goal, especially if helped by defensive uncertainty. A long punt downfield confused Gerrard and Phil Jagielka, and Suarez's instinctive decision to gamble left him clean through to confidently welly it past Joe Hart.
Uruguay scored with both their shots on target, compared to England's 1 from 6.
With 62.4% possession overall, England completed 357 of their 436 passes (82%), Uruguay 164 of 257 (64%).
England also completed more final-third passes with an unusually high 69% success rate.
Hodgson's team also twinkled, attempting 26 take-ons and completing most of them.
Uruguay, though, know how to tackle.
The game's top two passers were Henderson and Johnsonl for the record, Gerrard completed 31 of 40 passes.
Sterling, Sturridge and Rooney (3/3) led the dribblers.
But in the end this was a tale of two four-stroke strikers: Suarez and Rooney. One scored 2 goals; the other scored 1, had 1 saved and hit the bar.
Facts and figures
- England are winless against Uruguay at the World Cup, losing twice (in 1954, 4-2 and in 2014, 2-1) and drawing the other.
- Uruguay’s victory against England ended a run of 15 matches without a win against European opposition at the World Cup (D6 L9).
- Wayne Rooney scored his first World Cup goal for England, ending a run of 759 minutes without finding the back of the net.
- Wayne Rooney has now tied with Michael Owen on 40 goals for England, making him the joint fourth top scorer.
- Edinson Cavani has played a part in 3 of Uruguay’s last 5 World Cup goals (2 goals, 1 assist).
- Luis Suarez has scored 5 times in 7 World Cup appearances.
- Uruguay had 2 shots on target in this match, and scored with both.
- England have conceded 8 goals in their last 3 World Cup games, as many as the previous 14 games combined.
- England have lost their opening 2 games at a World Cup for the first time in their history.
- Roy Hodgson has lost his last 4 games at the World Cup, 2 with Switzerland and 2 with England.