Uruguay have won against England 2-1
England started both halves poorly and really did not even play that well until 10 minutes into the second half. There were moments and spells in which England looked threatening. They actually looked like the favorites to go on and win the game after Rooney equalized at 1-1. At the end of the game, Rooney was the bright star and England’s defense showed that it is the weak link. Here are the player ratings for the match.
Joe Hart = 4 Hart was unable to stop Luis Suarez on his attempts. Hart would have had difficulty stopping both of the goal opportunities, but to play in big matches you need to come up with big saves and he was unable to do so. Suarez nearly caught him twice off the corner kick forcing Hart to stumble and push the ball off the line.
Glen Johnson= 5 Johnson had a game of two distinct halves. In the first half, Johnson played much too slow and often he was unwilling to make forward passes or runs. He also did not close down Uruguay attackers fast enough. He did not play nearly well enough. In the second half, he played much better. He started making attacking runs and crossed balls into the box. He set up Rooney’s goal with a neat bit of play. If Johnson had played like he did in the second half, then England may have scored in the first half.
Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka = 3 It seems that England’s problem was not Wayne Rooney but instead the defensive issues that were evident in the match. The first goal came against the run of play and from relatively nothing. Uruguay picked up the ball in the middle of the park, passed it out towards the England right hand side to Edison Cavani, who then had time to take numerous touches to set up a chip to the back post which Luis Suarez nodded home. The goal itself was very similar to the one Balotelli scored last match. Cavani and Suarez were able to out fox SIX England defenders for the goal. The second goal was even worse. Cahill and Jagielka were miles away when a flick off of a goal kick sent Suarez through and in to score. It just amazes me that Suarez, perhaps the most in-form sticker in the world over the last year, was allowed that kind of space when the game is level. Utterly poor defending by the England centerbacks.
Leighton Baines = 6 Baines and Johnson had very similar games. Baines, like Johnson, really did not play well until the second half. He was slow and not at all threatening in the first half. Luckily he changed that and was able to trouble the Uruguay defense with his pace and crossing ability. As stated with Johnson’s performance, if Baines had played like he did in the second half then maybe it would be a different scoreline.
Raheem Sterling = 5 Clearly Uruguay figured out how to contain Raheem Sterling much better than Italy did. Right from the start of the game the Uruguay defenders were not letting Sterling any time on the ball. They made sure to rough him up a few times as well. He did have some moments when he got free and created chances or pressured the defense off of good runs, but he did not have near the effect that he did against Italy.
Steven Gerrard= 6 Gerrard played a game that very much resembled the last match. He played well but he just did not add anything special. England needed a moment, a special moment, to go on and win this game and Gerrard could not deliver. Being the captain and a veteran, he needed to do just a bit more to push England through the game.
Jordan Henderson = 6 Much like Johnson and Baines, Henderson played considerably better in the second half. In the first half he was slow and was unable to create attacking danger out of the midfield. The was changed after halftime and he performed much better. Before being subbed off, he was making runs at the defense and causing problems.
Danny Welbeck = 6 Welbeck played a good match throughout. Unfortunately his performance was just not quite good enough. He was able to make some dangerous runs at the defense and hold up the ball well. Much like Sterling though, he just was not a effective as last game. He did play better in the second half.
Wayne Rooney = 8 In my opinion he was England’s man of the match. From the start, Rooney looked the most dangerous. He was getting lots of touches, dribbling with speed at the defense and coming close to netting a few goals early on. His free kick early in the first half was inches away and his header in the 30th min off a Gerrard free kick was inches away from sneaking in under the post instead of bouncing out. He finally bagged his first World Cup goal by tapping in a low cross from Glen Johnson. We was the one player in the England squad that really stepped up to the plate.
Daniel Sturridge = 7 Sturridge and Rooney both played well up front. Sturridge was kept quite for most of the game but he did pop up a few times and got shots off to try the keeper. Sturridge did very well at holding the ball up in the final third to lay it off for another England player. He unfortunately could not produce a goal.
The Subs: Adam Lallana, Ross Barkley, and Ricky Lambert Lallana, Barkley, and Lambert all made appearances for England tonight but were unable to push the team to victory. All three made positive impacts when they came on. Barkley was perhaps the most lively of the three. He was running at the defense and nearly had an opportunity from a Rooney pass that was nicked away from his feet at the last moment. I would say Barkley would earn a ‘7’ while Lallana and Lambert earn a ‘6’.
England have their last game against Costa Rica on June 24th at 12 noon. They have a very slim chance now of making it out of the group.