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World Cup: Without Luis Suarez, Uruguay a long shot against Colombia

Is Uruguay going to be one-and-done without Luis Suarez in round of 16?

Luis Suarez all but carried Uruguay into the sweet 16. Now, because of his vampire tendencies, the supporting cast is on its own.

The Uruguayans are looking at a one-and-done likelihood in the knockout part of the World Cup against Colombia, which has fired off nine goals in three victories. If Colombia has not quite been the tournament's supreme team, its salsa-laced group dance after each score has outstripped all other goal celebrations.

While Uruguay has won twice, its lone loss (to Costa Rica) came without Suarez, who was mending then from knee surgery. His career was placed in deep-freeze Thursday by a FIFA-imposed suspension for bitting yet another opponent two days earlier.

Uruguay might find an encouraging example in how Colombia has recovered from the absence of its own potent scorer.

Colombia's stock fell before the Cup began when Radamel Falcao, one of Suarez's few peers as a striker, was left behind with a knee injury. His stand-in, Jackson Martinez, has excelled, and young set-up man James Rodriguez has emerged as a star in waiting.

The difference is, Uruguay has been afforded less time -- three days -- to figure out life without Suarez. Its attack in the loss to Costa Rica could only be described one way.

Toothless.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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