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20
JUN

World Cup - Day 7: The Guts Awards

So, England are almost out and Uruguay have a decent chance of progressing. What we expected though wasn’t it? Did anyone really believe that this really could be England’s time? The way a half-fit Luis Suarez simply danced around the England defence was inexcusable at this level and the lapses were deservedly punished – twice. Don't get punished with your bets, grab this Guts sport bonus instead.

 

England now need favours; two in particular and both off Italy if they’re to have any chance of progression beyond the group stage and avoid booking the flight home at this stage of the World Cup for the first time since 1958. It is, however, extremely unlikely that Italy will be concerned with their last result if they defeat Costa Rica in their second group match.

 

Group C is seemingly more clearer after yesterday’s results; Colombia are definitely through as they defeated Ivory Coast 2-1 while the African nations’ destiny is still in their own hands as they only need to avoid defeat vs. Greece in their next game while Japan would have to defeat Colombia by 3 clear goals to stand any chance of leapfrogging the Ivorian’s into 2nd place in the group.

 

Guts Awards

 

The Guts Award: Uruguay

When the pressure was on, Uruguay delivered a truly gutsy performance backed up by the prowess of Luis Suarez. Even half-fit, he proved to be still too much of a handful for an England defence that didn’t look capable of stopping anything remotely dangerous coming their way.

 

Also, with a lack of protection from the England midfield, the defence was exposed time and again and it was only a matter of time before England paid the price for poor positioning and allowing a world class striker such as Luis Suarez time and space to pick his spot for both goals. It was a clinical performance by the Uruguayans.

 

The Nuts Award: Japan

Fighting to remain in the World Cup, Japan had the perfect opportunity to lay down a marker against the ultra-conservative Greeks and stake a claim on the remaining Group C spot after Colombia had all secured qualification early on in the day.

 

However, with the Greeks down to 10 men for most of the encounter, Japan seemed reluctant to even attempt to try and secure the win. At best their performance could be described as laboured. It was an excruciating performance from a potential bright spot in the tournament.

 

HONOURABLE MENTION: - The Uruguayan medical team for allowing Alvaro Pereira to remain on the pitch after a clash with Raheem Sterling’s knee which clearly seemed to knock him unconscious. He should have been taken off immediately after the incident and not been allowed to ‘bully’ management into letting him stay on.

 

Guts’ Goal of the Day: Luis Suarez 

Is there really any other choice than the Uruguayan’s 2nd goal complete with an assist from his club captain? Literally, it was a smashing finish after he had looked dead on his feet.

 

Guts’ Gripe of the Day: England

England were poor, there really is no other way to describe the performance and even after Wayne Rooney equalised there was a noticeable drop in performance from England as if they were settling for a point. Then BANG! Steven Gerrard’s mistake let in his Liverpool colleague and England were once again on the brink of elimination.

 

On the subject of Steven Gerrard, his performance was quite poor throughout the two games and had clearly carried his end of season form into his last International tournament. 

 

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