A DOUBLE from Luis Suarez sank English hopes last night after the Liverpool striker returned from injury to leave the Three Lions languishing without a single point going into the final game of the World Cup group stages.
Bars and pubs across Swindon were packed out with hopeful fans for the 8pm kick-off, settling in for a match which once again saw England beaten by a 2-1 scoreline. The match started at a frenetic pace and saw both Rooney and Rodriguez skimming the woodwork by a whisker, before the English number 10 drew gasps by bouncing a header off the post from close range.
The mood was to turn sour after Suarez found space behind the defence to glance a header against the far post five minutes before half-time, but England eventually drew level with a tap-in from Rooney on 75 minutes.
Suspicions of offside among fans clouded the second opposition goal as Suarez escaped the English back line to rifle home.
England now have to rely on Italy winning their match against Costa Rica to have any chance of progressing. Andy Bartlett, 57, of Old Walcot, was watching the match with his son in Old Town. “I think the game was pretty even and we didn’t deserve to lose,” he said. “It was typical of England and it seems we can never finish off a game. Once we came back to 1-1 we should have been able to push on from there.
“I do think the second goal was offside so we are probably quite hard done by. I just think it is our bad luck in the big matches that we never seem to put them away.”
Ben Malesus, 45, of Wootton Bassett, said he didn’t think it would be of any benefit to the tournament if England were to progress. “The second goal was disappointing,” he said. “We worked so hard to get level and their second goal was offside by at least a yard. It was typical route one football that we are used to in the Premier League, that we should have been able to defend against.
“It is always the same – we think we are better than we are and we raise our hopes too far.
“We stepped back towards the end of the game and had a kind of malaise. Nobody deserves to go through after losing two games, so I am not all that optimistic. I can’t see we would go very far if we do qualify on the basis of that.
“Uruguay are not the force in world football they used to be, and we just seemed technically inept.”
Chris Newbold, 25, of Upper Stratton, said: “Obviously it is very disappointing. I did not think there was much in it during the game. They were just more clinical in front of goal, which is something we lacked.
“Despite that I am optimistic and hopeful. I know our chances are not very good, but if we do get through we would play Columbia or the Ivory Coast in the next round, so we could still get to the quarter finals. If we manage that I would be very happy.
“I think we played well and had a good time of it. We got close.”