Phil Jagielka admitted England were “absolutely devasted” as their late 2-1 loss to Uruguay left them on the brink of World Cup elimination.
Luis Suarez scored twice, the winner coming in the 85th minute, after Wayne Rooney’s equaliser had given England hope of getting something out of the game.
The loss was the second in two matches for Roy Hodgson’s men and left them needing to beat Costa Rica in the final match and other results to go their way to qualify.
“As you can tell by my voice everyone’s absolutely devastated,” for former Sheffield United skipper said.
Suarez headed his first goal home from Edinson Cavani’s cross and for his second ran on to a misplaced Steven Gerrard header and blasted past Joe Hart.
“Gutting, played so well again in spells, unfortunately a little bit of luck went against us, Steven flicking the ball on and Suarez gets the wrong side,” Jagielka said. “Pretty disappointed, boot down the pitch, flick on and the goal.”
He added: “Similar to the Italy game, (we) played pretty well, but not good enough.”
No team in World Cup history has gone through after two defeats, so England might as well start thinking about going home after next Tuesday’s game in Belo Horizonte against Costa Rica.
England showed promise in their first match against Italy, but in Sao Paulo they came up against a rigid and bruising Uruguay defence.
They had their chances to take something from the game. Rooney hit the bar and went close with a brilliant free-kick in the first half.
But once again, the attack cannot be blamed for the result.
England’s defence was poor. They always looked susceptible to pace and Suarez, despite being half-fit, caused them problems all night.
Rooney came close with a free kick which looped just wide then later the striker connected with Gerrard’s free-kick just under the goal frame, but his header struck the frame and bounced out.
But aside from that it had been all Uruguay and seven minutes before the break, Suarez struck.
Gerrard lost the ball on the halfway line while England had men upfield and Uruguay hit on the counter. Glen Johnson gave Cavani enough time and space to curl a peach of a cross that looped over Cahill’s head and Suarez did the rest.
Hodgson brought on Ross Barkley, who immediately injected some life into the England midfield just after the hour. Then Glen Johnson, who had been poor all night, took one player on and slipped the ball through the legs of Alvaro Gonzalez to Rooney, who prodded home.
But with five minutes left Suarez struck the killer blow.
Gerrard mistakenly flicked on a long punt and Suarez drove a low ball past Hart.
England pushed but it was too late and now all eyes are on Italy.