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Rooney’s first career World Cup goal not enough


AP6_20_2014_000019BSao Paulo: One moment, Wayne Rooney madly celebrated the triumph of ending years of criticism for his World Cup struggles. Then, the England striker left the field with his head down in disappointment.

At last, Rooney had delivered his first goal for the Three Lions on the big stage. He came through following constant scrutiny surrounding his lack of production at the World Cup.

And it still wasn’t enough yesterday as Luis Suarez spoiled England’s night, and perhaps its hopes of moving on in Brazil, too.

Rooney’s equalizer in the 75th minute gave England hope. Ten minutes later, Suarez scored his second goal of the night just a month after left knee surgery, sending Uruguay to a 2-1 victory and pushing England to the brink of elimination.

“In the second half I thought we were going to win the game to tell you the truth, especially when we got level,” defender Leighton Baines said.

“We were dealt another blow really with the goal. He’s world class and it sort of looked like maybe he wasn’t putting himself part of it as much as he normally would, but he’s got the confidence in himself to know if he gets a chance he’ll take it.”

While Rooney did his part for the Three Lions at last, he still left Itaquerao Stadium in defeat. He slowly walked to the middle of the field to trade jerseys, then departed.

A stone-faced Rooney didn’t stop to speak to reporters afterward in the mixed zone area, offering a polite, “No, sorry.”

Early, Rooney leapt several feet in the air and had a perfect first chance to make a name for himself in the World Cup.

The Manchester United striker outjumped Uruguay defender Martin Caceres on Steven Gerrard’s free kick in the 31st minute, but his header hit exactly where the post and upright meet.

Rooney had another opportunity early in the second half, when goalkeeper Fernando Muslera — dressed in glaring head-to-toe neon orange — made a sliding stop on his point blank shot.

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