Pros in England score three; Brits lose 2-1

At the beginning of England's game against Uruguay, I was surprised to see Suarez in the lineup for the South Americans.  Not because of talent, of course, but just because he didn't play in the first game due to a lingering injury.  (And Forlan was on the bench; probably relatedly.)

I must say that it felt very natural seeing him in a sky-blue jersey again.  Liverpool's red still looks a bit weird to me.  One thing we did see, although I didn't make a note of when, was he and Gerrard had a full-body collision, and Luis had no trouble staying on his feet.  Gerrard, on the other hand, went down.  So we see how much crap it is that he goes down at the lightest touch (incidentally, I never noticed that when he was playing at City.  Did he not do it, or did I just not notice).

One thing that jumped out, right at the beginning, was how deep Uruguay was pressuring the ball, defensively.  At one point, they were pressing all the way back to the box.

England, on the other hand, was only pressuring to just past the midfield stripe.

In any event, Godin of Uruguay was lucky that he only got a yellow card on his handball play in the ninth minute; that close to goal, a red is not unlikely.

Christian Rodriguez had the next pretty good scoring chance at the fifteen minute mark, but he put the shot a foot over the crossbar.

The game stayed pretty tense, as both teams were hurrying the ball up the field.  Uruguay somehow didn't get a card for applying the defense of "put a forearm to the throat of the opposing player".

And I didn't note who did it, but there was a shot where a header went off the underside of the crossbar and back out.

But in the thirty-ninth minute, Suarez definitively makes his presence felt.  A fellow Uruguayan was bringing the ball down the right side, and served a cross right to Luis for an unopposed header that went in.  A very nice job on the serve (and I wish I had noted who placed it); wretched defense to leave Suarez so wide-open.

I didn't note any more chances in the closing minutes of the half, but there was definitely a lot going on in that lack of opportunity.

The second half started the same way, with the south americans getting the first chance.  The Uruguayan got the ball into the box, but outran it by a half-step, which forced him to push it wide.

In the fifty-third, Rooney continued his World Cup frustration by shooting directly into the goalie from about six yards out.

Somehow, that's where my notes end.  But Rooney did end that frustration in the seventy-fifth with one of the easiest goals he's ever scored.  The defense was focused on a run down the right hand side, which gave him a tap-in from a couple yards out when the kick ended up being a pass across instead of a shot.

But things only went well for England for another ten minutes.  Then, the Uruguayan goalie punted the ball downfield, and two midfielders went for the header.  They both missed, and the ball bounced all the way past the defenders, and Suarez took off for the ball before any of the defenders.  That gave him a clean breakaway, and nobody was surprised when he planted it in the back of the net.

Did I say it was wretched defense on the first South American goal?  Yeah, that was iron-clad defense by comparison to the second.  The defense generally was very good, but Suarez, right now, is good enough that there's almost no margin for error in covering him.  Those might well have been the only two times he got loose, but he buried both of them.

Frustration continued for England, as they did have more chances, but nothing was converted, so they finished the game winless, leaving them in a precarious position for moving on.

For Rooney, you have to imagine that he had very mixed feelings.  No win, which had to hurt, but he finally scored, which will greatly cut down on the amount of flak he gets in the media.  Not that he's played poorly in the World Cup; I remember saying that I thought, despite the lack of goals, that he was excellent in the last tournament.

Regardless, the game did not leave the Brits in a good place.  And they have to be hating that the winning goal in both of their games came from people who played for Manchester City last year (or maybe two years ago; I don't know exactly when Balotelli left, but I think it was in the middle of the season right before the one that just ended).

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