Two clinical finishes from Uruguay's Luis Suárez inflicted a second successive Group D defeat on England and left their FIFA World Cup hopes hanging by a thread.
Both sides had chances in an open first half at the Arena de Sao Paulo, Wayne Rooney heading against the Uruguay crossbar from close range, but six minutes before the break Suárez clinically headed the South American champions in front. Fifteen minutes from time Rooney tapped in an equaliser, his first FIFA World Cup goal, but ten minutes later Suárez got clear again and once more the finish was unerring.
Although both teams had lost their opening games – England 2-1 to Italy and Uruguay 3-1 against Costa Rica – each made a positive start. Rooney curled a free-kick wide in the tenth minute while at the other end Cristian Rodríguez's powerful shot missed the target.
Chances continued to come at both ends, Suárez pulling a clever low corner back to Edinson Cavani but the Paris Saint-Germain forward's shot was too high. England came closer still in the 31st minute as Steven Gerrard's deep left-wing free-kick was met by Rooney at the far post; from a metre out, his header struck the crossbar.
Eight minutes later, Roy Hodgson's side were behind. Nicolás Lodeiro won possession and fed Cavani on the left; the striker clipped a perfect cross towards Suárez, and the header gave Joe Hart no chance. Uruguay might have had a second three times in the first few minutes of the second period, Hart scrambling away after Suárez's corner had come all the way through before the striker pulled a shot wide and Cavani sliced wide after Lodeiro had sprung the England defence.
England had been on the ropes but might have drawn level when Rooney fired in a left-footed shot that Fernando Muslera blocked. Hodgson's side continued to press but without unduly troubling a well-organised Uruguay rearguard – until the 75th minute. Daniel Sturridge turned away from three defenders down the right and played in Glen Johnson, who advanced inside the penalty area and squared for Rooney to tap in.
The momentum was with England, yet from a long Muslera clearance they were undone again. The high ball skimmed off the top of Gerrard's head and left Suárez with just Hart to beat; the striker duly found the net to revive his side's hopes and leave England with it all to do to avoid a first group exit since 1958.