World Cup day 9 - England verging on early exit after Uruguay defeat

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England's chances of progression to the knockout stages of the World Cup are hanging by a thread after suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Uruguay last night. Two goals from fit-again striker Luis Suarez put Roy Hodgson's side to the sword.

Suarez twice capitalised on poor Three Lions defending, first latching on to an exquisite Edinson Cavani pass to head past Joe Hart, giving Óscar Tabárez's team a 1-0 half-time lead in Sao Paolo.

England drew level on 75 minutes when Wayne Rooney broke his World Cup goalscoring duck, converting from close range after neat work by marauding full-back Glen Johnson down the right flank. But, in true English style the players and fans' night went from ecstasy to devastation in a heartbeat when a long punt forward from the Uruguayan goalkeeper Fernando Muslera was misjudged by captain Steven Gerrard.

Devastation for England...

His unintentional backward header flicked past England's static centre-back pairing of Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill and was seized upon by Suarez, and with two touches the 27-year-old talisman man rifled home to earn his country all three points and improve their chances of advancing to the knockout stage.

England now need a huge favour from Italy, which will be rewarded with a kiss from her majesty the Queen if you believe Mario Balotelli, who outlined his demands on Twitter in the aftermath of last night's game.

- Why England never stood a chance at the Brazil World Cup

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Cesare Prandelli's side are required to beat both Costa Rica and Uruguay, and the Three Lions will hope that a win in their final match will be enough to overturn a negative goal difference to finish as runners up in Group D. However, it's worth noting that no team has ever progressed after losing their first two World Cup games.

In yesterday's other ties Colombia booked their place in the last 16 after recording a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast thanks to goals from James Rodriguez and Juan Fernando Quintero, while Greece and Japan both kept their qualification hopes alive after playing out a 0-0 draw.

Greece's captain Kostas Katsouranis saw red after a second yellow card towards the end of the first half, but Japan could not find a way through after the break.

Friday's fixtures

Tonight's games kick-off with that all-important clash between Italy and Costa Rica before the second round of Group E games between Switzerland and France followed by Honduras against Ecuador bring a curtain down on Day nine of the tournament.

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World Cup
Luis Suarez
Mario Balotelli
England Football

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