Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 19th 2014 Contents A68
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, June 19, 2014
Uruguay captain out England game
SAO PAULO---Uruguay captain Diego Lugano has been
ruled out of the World Cup match against England
tosday after a left knee strain intensified in recent days.
Scans showed that the 33-year-old defender does not
currently require surgery, but it is unclear if he will be fit
to face Italy in the Group D finale on Tuesday.
"Lugano hasn't been feeling very well lately. He had
some pain," Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said through
a translator yesterday. "We thought it's just better he
doesn't play because he feels pain in his knee...and he
has to recover. We will have to follow very closely how
he improves in the next days to decide if he will play
Uruguay and England both lost their Group D openers
Still sub, but new bounce in Fellaini step
BELO HORIZONTE---There is a new bounce in the step
of Marouane Fellaini at the World Cup after a bad year
at Manchester United. And if all things go Belgium's
way, the bounce in his curly hairdo might be gone in a
Yes, Fellaini is still on the bench when the match
starts, but that's where any comparison with his
Premier League seasons ends.
Coming on halfway through the second half against
Algeria, the hulking Fellaini reinvigorated Belgium and
set in motion a 2-1 come-from-behind win with a
backward header glancing off his wild, curly black locks.
If Belgium keeps up winning through the July 13 final,
those hairs will all be gone. He said "I cut it if we win."
The Red Devils already lead group H.
MIndi has tests for suspected concussion
PORTO ALEGRE---Netherlands defender Bruno
Martins Indi has been taken to a hospital for tests after
suffering a suspected concussion in his team's hard-
fought 3-2 victory over Australia at the World Cup.
Martins Indi was carried off at the end of the first
half yesterday after Australia forward Tim Cahill
clattered into him hard and late at the Estadio Beira-
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal says that if tests
confirm a concussion, the Feyenoord defender will be
sidelined for a week and miss the last Group B match
Cahill was booked for the foul and will be suspended
for Australia's last Group B match, against defending
Hazard has bad toe
BELO HORIZONTE---Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard
has undergone a precautionary scan on a painful toe in
the wake of his team's opening victory over Algeria but
should be fully fit for the next Group H game against
Coach Marc Wilmots said that the scan showed
Hazard suffered only a minor contusion on a toe. As a
safety precaution, Hazard did not train with his
Hazard, who came in for some hard tackles against
Algeria, provided the vital assist to Dries Mertens that
capped a late 2-1 comeback victory. When Russia and
South Korea drew 1-1 late Tuesday, it gave Belgium the
lead in the group.
Belgium plays Russia at the Maracana in Rio on
Cahill, Van Persie out of last group games
PORTO ALEGRE---Robin van Persie and Tim Cahill
have both scored contenders for goal of the World Cup.
Both will miss their team's last Group B matches in
Cahill scored a stunning volley yesterday to equalise
in the 21st minute of Australia's match against the
Netherlands in Porto Alegre before being booked just
short of half time for a late challenge on Bruno Martins
Indi, his second yellow card of the tournament.
Van Persie, who scored a memorable looping header
against Spain last week and added his third goal of the
tournament in the second half against Australia, was
booked shortly after half time for putting his hand in
the face of Matthew Spiranovic.
Two yellow cards in group play mean an automatic
suspension for the next match.
may have to get used to
playing the role of super-
sub for Ivory Coast at the
The two-time African
Player of the Year started on
the bench against Japan in
Ivory Coast s opener but his
introduction in the second
half turned the match around,
inspiring a comeback from 1-
0 down to a 2-1 victory.
There have been calls for
Drogba, the country s most
famous player, to be recalled
for today s match against
Colombia but coach Sabri
Lamouchi wouldn t say
whether the 36-year-old
striker had done enough to
"I am in charge of a group,
not one player," Lamouchi
said Wednesday through a
translator. "If you are talking
to me about an idol like Didi-
er, he knows how important
he is to the team.
"We are in complete agree-
ment---obviously he might be
disappointed not to start, but
his investment in the group
shows he is very dedicated."
Despite Drogba s 12-year
pedigree and proven appetite
for the big occasion, Lam-
ouchi had concerns about the
player s match sharpness and
opted to start with Wilfried
Bony as the lone striker
Within four minutes of
coming on, though, Drogba s
presence had helped the Ivo-
rians score two goals.
There has only been one
topic of conversation since,
and Lamouchi can t get away
"The objective is to prepare
for this match against a
strong Colombia team," said
Lamouchi, as yet another
question was fielded about
Drogba. "We don t want to
lose our concentration and
think about other things. We
want to prepare to play this
Lamouchi added that it
would be an "option" to start
Drogba alongside Bony.
A win for Ivory Coast could
secure progress from its group
for the first time at a World
Cup. It would also give the
likes of Drogba, the Toure
brothers and Didier Zokora---
players who made the nation-
al team relevant in interna-
tional football nearly a decade
ago---a chance to finally make
their mark on the biggest
stage of all.
SAO PAULO---Slamming in goal after
goal for Liverpool, Luis Suarez appeared
to be reaching the peak of his game and
ready to take the World Cup by storm.
That s until the Uruguay striker felt pain
in his left knee during the final match
of the Premier League season.
Following surgery to repair cartilage
damage, Suarez is preparing to return to
action for the first time more than a month
ago. But even if Suarez plays today against
England at the World Cup, Uruguay coach
Oscar Tabarez is not expecting English
football s player of the year to be as explo-
sive as he was for Liverpool just yet.
"He went through a recuperation
process knowing that if all went well with
this we wouldn t have to discard him from
the World Cup," Tabarez said. "This recu-
peration went well and it s holding well.
Since he s come back he s been training
"In the case of whether Luis plays---
there is a possibility that he won t be like
the Luis Suarez that was the top goal
scorer of the Premier League."
But Tabarez maintains that even when
Suarez s isn t 100 per cent fit he "is some-
one who can give a lot to his team and
that s what we re considering right now."
Suarez spearheaded an unlikely title
challenge for Liverpool, with his 31 goals
helping the team finish second. Such scor-
ing prowess helped erase memories of
previous bans for racism and biting at
Liverpool, and of his cheating at the 2010
World Cup when he handled on the goal-
line to prevent Ghana from scoring.
"All of us are made up of different
things," Tabarez said through a translator
in defense of Suarez at the Itaquerao Sta-
dium in Sao Paulo.
"We have technical abilities, physical
abilities and our own personality and
character. All those factors make up what
we are. Luis has always wanted to face
all challenges in his career. Not only play-
ing for national team but in other situ-
Tabarez only wants to focus on Suarez s
positive attributes, hounding defenders
with his lethal finishing.
"Football is played by human beings,"
Tabarez said. "We need humility to accept
we make mistakes. We know who we are
and the image we want to project...it s
not possible to speak of things that hap-
pened four years ago. We need to con-
centrate in the future."
The future is today s match for a
Uruguay side reeling from a surprise 3-
1 collapse to Costa Rica on Saturday.
"We have to prove we want to overcome
this uncomfortable situation," striker Edin-
son Cavani said.
That could be easier if Suarez is leading
the strike force alongside Cavani against
England, which has six Liverpool team-
mates in the squad.
"Any time we have need (of Suarez) in
any sort of match he has been willing,"
Tabarez said. "He has always improved
himself and his career is wonderful, bril-
liant. He plays in one of best leagues in
the world and has overcome many dif-
ferent problems. He is a very important
player for us because of his technical abil-
ities and his personality."
England also lost its Group D opener,
against Italy, but attracted praise for its
flair and endeavor in the 2-1 defeat.
Tabarez was among the admirers.
"England team is very good attacking,
very good up front with wonderful players,
four players always up front, very fast,
more than able to score and they were
very direct and pragmatic," he said. "They
are able to organise wonderful plays very
fast. (Captain Steven) Gerrard is a won-
derful player, organizing play from anyway
and this is important for England. It allows
them to attack from midfield. We could
see that against Italy."
Drogba may have to
accept super-sub role
Suarez could struggle to recapture form
Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba eyes the ball during the group C
World Cup soccer match between Ivory Coast and Japan at the
Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Saturday. AP PHOTO
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