England sucker-punched by British goal – Hodgson

England sucker-punched by British goal – Hodgson

The winner came five minutes from time when Luis Suarez latched on to a long punt upfield that came off the head of England captain Steven Gerrard.


“It’s a goal we don’t expect to conceded,” Hodgson told reporters. “Long goal-kicks with the sort of players we have in the team.”

Suarez put Uruguay ahead after 39 minutes with a deft header. England drew level after 75 minutes thanks to a Wayne Rooney goal but Suarez decided the match with his killer strike. “We’re devastated, we believed we could get a result having worked so hard to counter that goal and getting back to 1-1,” Hodgson said.

“I fully believed we would go on to win or draw and to concede that second goal is really an unbelievable blow.”

Hodgson said the defeat, coming so soon after they lost their opener to Italy, means they have an “unbelievably slim” chance of reaching the knock-out stage of the tournament.

England must beat Costa Rica in their final match and hope other results go their way.

“Our chances are unbelievably slim,” Hodgson said. “We depend on Italy winning their next two matches and us beating Costa Rica by the requisite number of goals.”

“To continue we needed a result today. We needed a victory and we didn’t get it.”

Hodgson said Suarez, who underwent a knee operation last month and was not fit to play in Uruguay’s opening match loss to Costa Rica, was quiet for most of the match but produced two moments of ruthlessness to separate the teams.

“I thought we controlled Suarez well in general play, he did very well to get away to the back post for the first goal but frankly for long periods of the game we kept him quiet.

“We are normally used to seeing him more active in and around the penalty area.

“The second goal was an unfortunate flick off Steven Gerrard’s head and when he gets free with the goalkeeper he doesn’t miss.”

Downcast and laconic, Hodgson would not be drawn on what happens now for England.

“I think that in both games we’ve shown some elements of playing some good football and we’ve shown we are a team making progress,” he said.

“But results decide everything and both results have been negative.”

Italy play Costa Rica on Friday before the final matches in Group D on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; editing by Ed Osmond)