Sunday, June 15, 2014

Forlan: This is not over

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Uruguay are disappointed but not disheartened after their shock 3-1 defeat to Costa Rica, according to Diego Forlan.

La Celeste, the reigning Copa America champions who finished fourth at the last FIFA World Cup™, could hardly have suffered a worse start to the tournament but are confident of hitting back against England when the sides meet on Thursday in Sao Paulo.

"We've been in situations like this before and there is no reason why we cannot overcome this," veteran striker Diego Forlan said to Ovacion newspaper. "This is football and everything is possible. But this is not over, absolutely not. There are two more games left in the group and we will try to win both. We have to improve but we still have chances to progress."

Uruguay started without their all-time record goalscorer Luis Suarez but took a 1-0 lead after Edinson Cavani scored from the penalty spot in the opening half. However, underdogs Costa Rica struck back with a vengeance with goals from Joel Campbell, Oscar Duarte and Marco Urena after the re-start.

Suarez was an unused subsittute against Costa Rica but it remains to be seen how fit the Liverpool striker is after undergoing a knee operation on 22 May. "He (Suarez) is no longer injured," Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said. "He has gone through the stages we had programmed for his recovery and he has trained with the team.

"We have four days left before the game against England and if he proves that he is in good form, we will consider the possibility of him playing. For us Suarez is a crucial player and everyone in the world of football knows that."

England will be well aware of the danger Suarez poses following his impressive exploits with Liverpool, where last season he netted 31 league goals in 33 games to be named Professional Footballers' Association's Player of the Year. Uruguay will be without Maxi Pereira for the game against England, though, with the Benfica defender sent off against Costa Rica for his challenge on Campbell.

Costa Rica, meanwhile, know they must come down from cloud nine after Saturday's win. "No one gave a penny for us in this game," Costa Rica defender Cristian Gamboa said. "We are delighted with the result but aware that we have the most difficult task ahead of us. What we really want as a team, is to progress from a group that is a very difficult one."

Los Ticos, who unlike all three of their Group D rivals have not won a World Cup, lead the pool narrowly ahead of Italy, who beat England 2-1 on Saturday. Costa Rica take on the Italians on Friday at the Arena Pernanbuco in Recife and national coach Jorge Pinto expects his players to remain humble.

"We need to be calm and have an emotional balance," he said. "This is a tournament and we've only played one game. We just beat a very good side but this is all. We haven't qualified yet. Now we must turn our attention to Italy. We played at a good rhythm against Uruguay but I think my players can give more."

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