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Jun 19, 2014

Five Aside: Match Day 8

Luis Suarez all but booked England's ticket home, but there's still a slight glimmer of hope for the Three Lions.

England lost its second consecutive group stage game of the tournament, a 2-1 defeat to Uruguay Thursday, only the second time the Three Lions have lost consecutive games in one World Cup and the first time since 1950 (which was also in Brazil).

According to the ESPN Soccer Power Index, there was a 0.75 percent chance that both England and Spain would lose their first two games. Despite the disappointing result, Wayne Rooney finally scored his first World Cup goal. It was Luis Suárez who stole the show, however, scoring twice, including the late winner.

Here are five notes on the early games from Day 8 of matches in Brazil.

* Both Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez scored their 40th international goals in Thursday's game. Rooney's was his first in 10 World Cup games. He had taken 28 total shots (eight on goal) in World Cup play before putting one in the back of the net. Rooney is tied with Michael Owen for fourth-most on England's all-time scoring list.

* Suarez, who becomes the first Uruguayan to score 40 international goals, also scored his 41st, which proved to be the winner. He has now taken 30 shots in seven World Cup games (17 on goal), scoring on five.

* Uruguay's 59.2 percent passing completion rate is the worst by a team in a World Cup win since at least the 1962 tournament. It was only the ninth time during that span that any team has finished a game completing less than 60 percent of its passes. The only two teams to complete fewer than 250 passes in a game at this tournament and win are U.S. against Ghana and Uruguay against England.

- Five Aside blog

* England isn't eliminated yet, but under the current World Cup format (including the previous four tournaments), only one of 18 teams with exactly three points has advanced. That was Chile in 1998, which had three draws. No team has advanced with two losses under the current format. To advance, England must beat Costa Rica, have Italy win twice, and win the tiebreakers with both Costa Rica and Uruguay. ESPN Soccer Power Index gives England a 3.6 percent chance to advance to the knockout stage.

* With its 2-1 win over Ivory Coast in the first game of the day, Colombia improved to 2-0, the first time it has won two games in a single World Cup. The Colombians came out of the scoreless first half with purpose and were led by James Rodríguez' 64th-minute goal. Rodríguez has scored in four straight international games. Colombia put one shot on goal and created just three scoring chances in the first half. In the second half, Colombia created seven scoring chances, with seven shots on goal, netting two.

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