Quarter-finals: France – Colombia – Belgium – Costa Rica
World Cup progress: Round of 16
Team rating: 6
Top scorer: Luis Suarez (2)
Uruguay made it through Group D, but Luis Suarez’s suspension rendered them helpless against a talented Colombia side in the second round, recalls Sam Lewis.
Uruguay lose their bite
It was a World Cup of chaos and controversy for Uruguay, who went into the tournament as many neutrals’ pick for a dark horse but came out of it with the discussion far removed from footballing performance.
It proved to be a tournament all about Luis Suarez for both positive and negative reasons. Notable in his injury-forced absence against Costa Rica, the Liverpool forward watched in dismay as the Central Americans shocked his side before returning to face England and scoring twice.
For his next trick, the striker sparked worldwide outrage as images of him biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s final group game went viral.
La Celete’s campaign ended shortly after the incident against Italy at the hands of Colombia, with James Rodriguez’s double sending Tabarez’s side home. However, the team’s tournament will be remembered for the actions of one man, rather than the failings of 23.
The Coach – Oscar Tabarez
Picked the best team he could and hitched his wagon to Luis Suarez on the pitch and off it. It’s no coincidence that Uruguay won every game in which the 27-year-old played in, but Tabarez’s most notable contribution to the World Cup was his rant in defence of his troubled talisman.
Player of the Tournament – Luis Suarez
Top scorer and headline maker, Suarez gets the nod. Scored twice as Uruguay downed England in their second match and his absence was felt in Uruguay’s defeats to Costa Rica in the group stage and Colombia in the second round. Quite clearly the most vital cog in Tabarez’s system.
Hard to choose anything beyond Luis Suarez’s bite on Chiellini. It was an act of madness that had the same gravity as Zinedine Zidane’s astonishing headbutt in the 2006 Final.
|14-Jun-14||Uruguay||1-3||Costa Rica||Group D|
|28-Jun-14||Uruguay||0-2||Colombia||Round of 16|
|13||D||Jose Maria Gimenez||3||–||–|
|17||M||Egidio Arevalo Rios||4||–||–|
For a complete review of the 2014 World Cup, check out the next issue of Soccer Italia, written by the team at Football Italia and available on worldwide subscription.