SAO PAULO — Luis Suarez scored twice to give Uruguay a 2-1 victory over England at the World Cup on Thursday, making an instant impact on his return from injury to revive his team’s Group D campaign.
The Liverpool striker, who hadn’t played since undergoing surgery on his left knee last month, lashed in the winner in the 85th minute, after seeing his first-half opener canceled out by Wayne Rooney.
After surprisingly losing its Group D opener to Costa Rica, Uruguay’s qualifying chances have now been given a major lift, while England’s hopes of advancing to the round of 16 are in real jeopardy after its worst World Cup start in more than half a century.
Suarez seemed to revel in inflicting England’s second successive loss in Brazil, having been punished twice by the country’s Football Association for misdemeanors, serving bans for racism and biting in the Premier League.
Of Uruguay’s six efforts on target, five were from Suarez — including the two that beat goalkeeper Joe Hart as England’s slack defending was exploited.
“I dreamt this,” Suarez said at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo. “I’m enjoying this moment, because of all I suffered, the criticism I received. So, there you go.”
By taking his World Cup tally to five goals, Suarez ensured that Rooney’s first-ever goal in 10 matches on football’s biggest stage was in vain at his third tournament.
Rooney tapped the ball home from close range in the 75th minute after connecting with Glen Johnson’s pass. Having also lost against Italy, England now faces the prospect of not advancing from the group stage for the first time since 1958.
“We are a team that is making progress but results decide everything and both results have been negative,” coach Roy Hodgson said.
“Where does it leave us? I don’t know. I don’t quite know.”
Group D leader Italy and Costa Rica, who both have three points, meet for their second group game on Friday. Uruguay now has three points, while England is on zero points after consecutive defeats following its losing start to Italy.
Colombia 2, Ivory Coast 1: at Brasilia, Brazil, Colombia qualified for the World Cup’s knockout stage, beating Ivory Coast after scoring twice in a six-minute spell in the second half.
Driven on by a partisan pro-Colombian crowd inside the Estadio Nacional, the South Americans went ahead through James Rodriguez’s powerful header from a corner in the 64th minute before substitute Juan Quintero added a second on a break following a defensive error.
Colombia held on to its lead, despite a brilliant 73rd-minute goal by Gervinho, for a second straight win in Group C. With Japan and Greece drawing 0-0 later Thursday, Colombia is assured of finishing in the top two spots in Group C.
Japan 0, Greece 0: At Natal, Brazil, Greece was reduced to 10 men after captain Costas Katsouranis was sent off in the 38th minute with his second booking, but it held on for a draw with Japan that kept both alive in Group C and sent rival Colombia through to the knockout round of the World Cup.
Both teams inserted new strikers in search of goals and a first victory, but ultimately the main objective was survival and both achieved that with one match left in group play. Japan would have been eliminated with a loss.
Once Katsouranis was sent off after a rough challenge on Makoto Hasebe, Greece withdrew into a defensive setup and held firm. Greece surrendered three goals in a loss to Colombia, but even short-handed was better organized against Japan and avoided any critical mistakes.
“My players were brilliant,” said Greece coach Fernando Santos. “They worked hard after the red card. Without the red card we probably would have won the game.”