Movie screenwriters couldn’t have dreamt up a better script after Luis Suarez scored twice to send England spinning towards their earliest World Cup exit in 56 years on Thursday, said Uruguay boss Oscar Tabarez.
Tabarez said a game where Luis Suarez recovered from injury to haunt the England team, on the birthday of Uruguay’s national hero Jose Artigas, was “loaded with symbols”.
“If this was a movie, people couldn’t have wanted a better result, at least in Uruguay,” he said after resurrecting his team’s campaign with the 2-1 victory.
“We’ve won after a difficult first game, we’ve been able to beat a European team for the first time in a long, long time.
“Many people said we wouldn’t be able to do so. I think it’s a special day because today is the birthday of Jose Artigas, our national hero, and we won against a team such as England.
“But the goals were scored by Luis Suarez, a player who was injured a month ago and had to undergo surgery. So for us this game was loaded with symbols.”
WATCH: Luis Suarez belts in the winner
Uruguay lost their first game 3-1 to Costa Rica, meaning that defeat would have put them on the verge of elimination.
Instead, Suarez, who left hospital in a wheelchair after keyhole knee surgery last month, returned to score twice – and was afterwards hoisted aloft by his teammates.
It was Uruguay’s first victory over European opposition at a World Cup since they beat the Soviet Union 1-0 at the 1970 tournament in Mexico.
“We all love him [Suarez] because he’s a wonderful person and he’s a very important player for our team, and of course we admire him and we’re very proud and very happy for many reasons,” Tabarez said.
“Some people said he had problems with his knee but we have respected him and his recovery, and we decided from the beginning that we would just wait and see how he felt.
“We said from the beginning, don’t worry if things don’t go well because you might miss a ball or not kick strongly enough, but I really trust him and I know what he can do in front of goal.”
Liverpool striker Suarez grabbed the second of two opportunistic goals in the 85th minute of a tense group D battle after Wayne Rooney had looked to have rescued a point for England with a 75th-minute equaliser.
The defeat leaves England, beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening match, needing a miracle if they are to reach the second round of a World Cup, something they have not failed to do since 1958.
WATCH: Luis Suarez heads in the opener for Uruguay
“We are more then disappointed, we’re devastated,” England manager Roy Hodgson said after the loss, describing his side’s chances of remaining in the tournament as “unbelievably slim.”
“To be sure of continuing we needed a result today, a draw or a victory, and we didn’t get it,” he said.
Suarez, named English player of the year after a superb season for Liverpool, said: “Yes, I dreamed of this. It was something I imagined many times, but I had to calm myself down.”
WATCH: Wayne Rooney scores his first World Cup goal
Uruguay’s victory leaves England needing Italy to beat both Costa Rica on Friday and the Uruguayans next Tuesday.
England would then need to beat Costa Rica in their final game to have any chance of qualifying on goal difference.
“It’s one of the lowest points,” defender Gary Cahill said. “I think the next four days are going to seem like forever. We just hope Italy can perform well in the next two games and leave the last game for us to try get a win.
“That’s all that we posssibly can do but we realise it’s going to be very tough,” he said.
Fullback Leighton Baines said England lost against Italy and Uruguay despite having played well.
“We haven’t been outplayed in any of the games. We have just come up short,” he said. “It does feel like we are moving forward but you have to find ways to win games.”