Midway through the second half of England’s match against Uruguay, Wayne Rooney was playing his usual World Cup role: scapegoat. After three misses from close in, ESPN’s Ian Darke ran down Rooney's ignominious World Cup record: three tournaments, 28 shots, eight on target, zero goals. Here at Slate, we were making plans for a sure-to-be viral video titled “Here Are All of Wayne Rooney's World Cup Misses.” The music playing in the background would be “Chances” by Hot Chocolate. It would be glorious.
And then, finally, Rooney scored. No viral video. No more monkey on his back. What we’re left with is the above compilation from the England-Uruguay match: a free kick that curved just wide, a header off the bar, a left-footed strike right at the goalkeeper, and—at last—one glorious tap-in.
Oh, and after Rooney’s long-awaited goal, World Cup jerk watch honoree Luis Suarez scored his second of the match, and England lost. Suarez was assisted on that goal by England's Steven Gerrard, who headed the ball back toward his own goal and directly in the path of the Uruguay player. So, blame that guy, English tabloids. I'm sure you will.
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