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The returning striker came close to opening the scoring early on when he whipped a corner goalwards which almost caught out Joe Hart, only for the Three Lions keeper to push the ball away at his front post.
The first big chance of the contest fell to Cristian Rodriguez when he was picked out in acres of space, but he failed to test Hart with his powerful drive which missed the target.
England created openings of their own, however, and Rooney came within inches of breaking the deadlock when his headed effort from Steven Gerrard's cross came back off the post.
As the game looked to be edging towards a goalless first half, Suarez arrived at the back post to head home Edison Cavani's inch-perfect cross to fire Uruguay ahead.