As is the way with these things, I made my way to the pub hours before the England kick-off, because I wanted to be sure of a seat and a clear line of sight. However just as I walked in and turned towards the screen, Joel Campbell chested the ball and then tied the game up for Costa Rica against Uruguay. I had just enough time to order my drink when they did it again, this time it was Óscar Duarte (who was starting in place of Johnny Acosta). 2-1 Costa Rica… are you kidding me?
Uruguay badly missed Luis Suárez, who sat to rest from meniscus surgery. Lucky us. Uruguay looked ordinary and their defenders are terrible. Throw in a bone-headed tackle from Maxi Pereira to earn him the red, and Uruguay look like they are in trouble. Costa Rica 3-1 Uruguay
So a couple of bevvies to warm up… and then it was England vs. Italy. It wasn’t at all embarrassing when Ginger Kev and I were so excited by Sterling’s blast into the side netting that he jumped into my arms. But hey, the BBC put up the score at 1-0 so we weren’t the only ones. Then came the Claudio Marchisio goal. Andrea Pirlo’s dummy made me think of when you see a gorgeous girl, and then you find out she has a boyfriend. A boyfriend who is better looking, richer and drives a better car. That kind of vision and nonchalance is evidence of an incredible talent… and so it was 1-nil Italy.
Wayne Rooney was once again a defensive liability, not providing the cover he needed down the left-hand side. Leighton Baines and Glen Johnson were playing up so high, they were effectively wingers… but Matteo Darmian and Giorgio Chiellini (as a make-shift fullback) were giving them headaches. Rooney doesn’t play well with others, but all was almost forgiven on the Daniel Sturridge goal. Raheem Sterling (who had a fantastic game) picked out Wazza’s run, who in turn put a perfect cross through the box for the Liverpool striker to finish off. However, Italy would counter with what was basically a mirror image of the goal (Darmian’s cross in front of the box for Mario Balotelli on the far post)… and that was that. Italy 2-1 England