By Greg Stobart at the Estadio Maracana
Uruguay struggled without Luis Suarez in the 2-0 defeat to Colombia in their last-16 World Cup clash, admitted Sebastian Coates.
Suarez missed Saturday’s match at the Maracana after he was banned from all football for four months for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s final group game.
Coates, who is Suarez’s team-mate at Liverpool, conceded after the game that the South Americans missed their star striker.
“Luis is a great player and we missed him,” Coates said. “But we have a lot of players without Luis who gave everything for the team.
Asked whether he thought Suarez would stay at Liverpool this summer, Coates responded: “Yes, I hope so.”
Colombia won thanks to two strikes from James Rodriguez as the midfielder became the leading scorer in the tournament with five goals.
Rodriguez’s first goal was a stunning volley from 25 yards in the first-half, but Coates does not believe the Monaco man has been the best player of the World Cup so far.
Coates said: “I don’t think he is the player of the tournament but he scored a great goal today, he scored two goals. So he’s a great player in a great moment.
“It was a great goal but we never gave up, which was very important for us.”