World Cup: Four red and sixteen yellow cards in Portugal-Netherlands game

, posted: 26-Jun-2006 13:16

I didn't see the Portugal - Netherlands game but wish I had now. The BBC says:

There was more action in the referee's notebook than on the pitch.

Russian ref Valentin Ivanov "continued to throw cards around like confetti" BBC says but according to Sweden's Aftonbladet, the game was the ugliest one in football history with the players really going for each other. Headbuttings, elbowing, stomping, late charges - you name it, the game had it. However, Ivanov's performance seems to have contributed to make the game a mess. FIFA's president Sepp Blatter says the ref should've been yellow carded. In other words, the iffy refereeing of World Cup games continues.

Still, Portugal's Brazilian coach Luis Felipe Scolari seems happy with the 1-0 victory. Portugal is up against England next, but minus players Deco and Costinha, with Figo in danger of having to sit out the next game as well. Four other Portuguese players have yellow cards so perhaps Scolari shouldn't be quite so cheerful.

Beckham bent it the way only he does, and scored one goal against Ecuador in the knockout round. Saw a bit of that game, but can't say that England impressed. They'll have to put in a better display against Portugal.

Next up, I reckon the Swiss will see off Ukraine. I hope the Aussies send the dull Italian team home but to be perfectly honest, the opposite is likely to happen. Four in the afternoon GMT is four in the morning here. Ack, murder. Someone should tell'em to make the World Cup more Antipodea friendly.

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