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So you can pretend you watched the games ( spoiler ).
The Main News .
The Bars on Samui and no doubt across Thailand will have shed a tear last night as the proverbial “Fat Lady” starts to work on her vocals for England! In fact for the English only a big operatic performance can save them now as they rely on the Italians to keep them in the world cup.
Colombia rejoice after a famous victory ensured their qualification for the next round of the FIFA World Cup after Greece and Japan drew. While despair doubtlessly reigns among the Ivorians, as it looks like another opportunity missed for their ‘golden generation’ including Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure.
Results from last night
England 1 – 2 Uruguay
Colombia 2 – 1 Ivory coast
Japan 0 – 0 Greece
The Actual Stats
This death match in Group D between the 7th and 10th Ranked teams proved to be a nerve jangling, tense yet compelling affair.
England struggled to show the same attacking flair they had given glimpses of in the Italy game and Uruguay were quicker to the ball, stronger in the tackle and seemed intent on showing that they were a better team than had been apparent in their defeat to Costa Rica.
Some will say the difference was the finishing of Suarez the Liverpool striker. Two chances on target and two goals.
This doesn’t tell the whole story as it was a poor defensive performance and lack of concentration in key moments that actually cost England this game and leaves them hanging on to the Italian results to keep them in Brazil.
The opening goal came when Cavani’s cross was exquisitely delivered and Suárez showed all his expertise in the way he peeled away from Jagielka and headed the ball back across Joe Hart.
England then threatened to turn the game upside-down after Wayne Rooney’s first-ever World Cup goal made it 1-1 after 75 minutes. Rooney’s goal was his 40th in England’s colours, pulling him level with Michael Owen as fourth in the all-time list, but he will also reflect on that moment, at 0-0, when he headed Gerrard’s corner against the crossbar.
Then the nail in England’s coffin the long ball from the keeper skimmed off the head of England captain Gerrard and split the centre-halves, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill ,who had not dropped off in anticipation. Suddenly Suárez was clear, and anyone with an glimmer of understanding of football would know that a player with his ability cannot be left with such space.
2.1 and yet another England team looking to leave a tournament early .
The first match of the evening, saw James Rodriguez as the star of the show once again for the Colombians, with his sharp passing, creative vision and most importantly, finishing instinct proving to be the difference between the two sides.
The first half was typical end-to-end, with neither side really making any headway or threatening. Unfortunately, any possession in a dangerous area was always given away cheaply.
The game was sprang to life virtually on the hour mark, as Colombia grabbed the opener through an incredibly powerful header via a corner by Rodriguez.
Didier Drogba was introduced, and the Ivory Coast players frantically stormed forward to find an equalizer, only to succeed in giving the Colombians an opportunity to break once again. Juan Quintero, calmly converted a one-on-one situation against Boubacar Barry to double the Colombian lead and claim his first international goal .
Gervinho did produce a moment of magic late in the game, finishing after a fine run which saw him shimmy past three Colombian defenders, but it was to be all too little too late as their lack of a cutting edge sent the Ivory Coast to defeat.
The last game saw Greece reduced to 10 men after their captain Costas Katsouranis was sent off in the 38th minute with his second booking. They held on for a 0-0 draw with Japan which keeps both teams still alive in Group C but sends rivals Colombia into the next round.
Once Katsouaranis was sent off after a hefty challenge , Greece withdrew into a defensive setup and then held firm. Greece who had already surrendered three goals in their first match to Colombia, proved to be better organized against Japan and avoided any critical mistakes.
Japan equally failed to show any real creativity in attempting to breakdown the strong Greece line. Neither of these sides will hold many worries if they progress
Tonight’s matches will no doubt see all the English fans supporting the Italians in a hope that the can defeat Costa Rica and keep alive the glimmer of hope for England. Anything except an Italian win and England are out .
Tonight’s games being played at the Premier Sports Bar
4pm Uruguay v England (replay)
11pm Italy v Costa Rica