Suarez bite mars Uruguay win, Greece break Ivorian hearts

Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:36pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Uruguay forward Luis Suarez faces a lengthy ban after Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini accused him of biting during the South Americans' 1-0 Group D victory on Tuesday, overshadowing a day of emotional extremes at the World Cup.

Tears of joy ran down the face of Colombia reserve keeper Faryd Mondragon when he became the oldest man to play at the finals at the age of 43, making a late appearance off the bench in a 4-1 win over Japan that secured top spot in Group C.

There was anguish for the Ivory Coast and unbridled joy for Greece in the other Group C clash, after Giorgos Samaras converted a penalty in the dying seconds of injury time to snatch a 2-1 win and pip the Africans to second place.

In the day's other match, a goalless draw with an experimental England side in Belo Horizonte was enough to secure Costa Rica first place in Group D and condemn the Europeans to their worst World Cup showing since 1958. [ID:nL6N0P55A6]

For all the footballing drama, it was Suarez's off-the-ball antics against Italy that were the major talking point around the world.

Soccer's world governing body FIFA said it was investigating the incident, which took the gloss off an otherwise glorious day for Uruguay after they edged 10-man Italy 1-0 in Natal to knock out the four-times former champions.

Liverpool forward Suarez, hailed a hero for his winning brace against England, has been banned twice before for biting, and looks likely to be hit with another lengthy suspension despite escaping punishment during the match.

"We are awaiting the official match reports and will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter," a FIFA spokesperson said.   Continued...

Uruguay's Luis Suarez (L) reacts after they won Italy in their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Yves Herman