• Uruguay 2-1 England, World Cup Group D

Hodgson refuses to concede Suarez is world class

ESPN staff
June 19, 2014
Hodgson needs Italian miracle

Roy Hodgson refused to concede that Luis Suarez is a world-class player despite the striker scoring twice for Uruguay to condemn England to a 2-1 loss at the World Cup.

Suarez made an immediate impact on his return from knee surgery to leave England on the brink of an early exit from the competition, despite Wayne Rooney pulling England level on 75 minutes with his maiden goal of the World Cup finals.

Earlier in the week, England manager Hodgson said Suarez would have to replicate the form he showed for Liverpool last season at the World Cup in order to be considered a world-class player.

Asked by ITV whether England were beaten by a world-class striker, Hodgson replied: "Luis Suarez scored the two goals. The first goal was exceptionally good, top, top class.

"The second one he was a bit fortunate to get himself free but when he did he made literally no mistake. We know what Suarez can do.

"It's a goal that we don't expect to concede. Long goal kicks, with the type of players we have in the team, we deal with them. We still did enough to get the draw that we would've needed but we didn't get it."

After Rooney equalised in the 75th minute, Hodgson believed his side were capable of scoring a second.

"I thought we'd go on to win the game. I certainly didn't think we'd lose the game because we'd been in control for such a long period of time," he said.

"They had been nowhere near our goal, it doesn't matter how many times you get near their goal though, it is how many times you put it in the back of the net and on both occasions we haven't done it enough."

England now need to hope that Italy win their remaining matches - against Costa Rica on Friday and Uruguay next Tuesday - while also beating Costa Rica convincingly in their final group match to stand any chance of progression. If Costa Rica avoid defeat against Italy on Friday, England will be officially eliminated.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close