Suarez sticks it to England
Striker Luis Suarez was destroyer-in-chief against England, scoring both goals in Uruguay's 2-1 win.
LONDON - Uruguay striker Luis Suarez said his two-goal match-winning performance against England in Thursday's 2-1 win in World Cup Group D was the perfect response to his critics.
"I have been thinking about this, it was something I dreamed about happening quite a lot," he told reporters.
"I'm enjoying this moment, because of all I suffered, the criticism I received. So there you go."
Suarez scored with a clever first-half header and struck the winner five minutes from time with a trademark powerful shot to almost certainly eliminate England from the tournament.
"Before the game too many people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years," he said. "This is a very good time for me. I want to see what they think now.
"It was one of the best games I've played. It's an amazing moment for me. Maybe a few days ago I thought this wouldn't be possible."
The controversial Liverpool striker had knee surgery last month and missed the opening game against Costa Rica, so he was also keen to pay tribute to his doctor Walter Ferreira.
"If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be here," Suarez said.
Recalling his winning goal, Suarez, who has served lengthy bans in England for racially abusing and biting opponents, said he wanted to dedicate it to those people who had stuck with him.
"When I saw the ball I closed my eyes and kicked it for all the things I went through, for the people that supported me," he said, his voice cracking. "And it went in.
"Nobody could have imagined a match like this," the 27-year-old said.
Uruguay joined Italy and Costa Rica, who play on Friday, on three points at the top of the group.
England were sucker-punched by a typical British goal they should have known how to defend against, manager Roy Hodgson said.
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."