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England on verge of exit

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Star Uruguay striker Luis Suarez sent England on the brink of an early elimination from the World Cup with a double strike in his side’s 2-1 dramatic win

Sao Paulo: Star Uruguay striker Luis Suarez sent England on the brink of an early elimination from the World Cup with a double strike in his side’s 2-1 dramatic win while Colombia qualified for the knock-out round for the first time in 24 years here.

Suarez, who did not play in his side’s shock 1-3 loss against Costa Rica, returned from a knee surgery last month to haunt the country where he plays club football for Liverpool to score in the 39th and 85th minutes and keep Uruguay afloat in the tournament.

England, on the other hand, were still winless from two matches having lost to Italy 1-2 in their opening match. Their fate, however, will be decided by the other remaining matches in Group D.

Colombia, meanwhile, joined the Netherlands and Chile to qualify for the round of 16 after they beat Ivory Coast 2-1 in a gripping Group C match in Brasilia and Japan hold Greece to a goal-less draw in Natal.

Colombia topped Group C with six points from two matches while Ivory Coast, Japan and Greece will fight it out for the remaining round of 16 berth from the group.

It was Liverpool striker Suarez who stole the limelight on the eighth day of the World Cup with his double strike sending former champions England on the brink of an early exit from the tournament.

England now face the prospect of making one of the earliest returns to home from a World Cup. They had also crashed out of the first stage in 1950 and 1958.

The dramatic match at the Arena Corinthians looked like heading for a draw with England equalising through Wayne Rooney’s maiden World Cup goal in his third tournament appearance and 10th match.

England even threatened to score the winning goal as they applied immense pressure on the Uruguay goal after the Rooney strike. But it was not to be the day of England, and a mistake by captain Steven Gerrard, who could not clear a long kick by Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera properly, sent his Liverpool team-mate Suarez in the clear to send the ball past England goalie and bury it into the net.

PTI

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