Sunday, June 25, 2006

World Cup, at 16.

Holy crap, did anyone else catch the Portugal-Netherlands game? For those who didn't, Portugal won 1-0, but the match set the World Cup record for red cards--four players redcarded out, including one of my favorite players, the tiny, speedy Portuguese forward Deco. The second half was a scrappy, ankle-biting mess, and the Russian referee nearly lost control entirely.

There were a lot of theatrics--players writhing on the ground to get back up spritely after the foul was called--but there was enough genuine ugliness (the Portuguese captain headbutting a Dutch player, a Dutch player wrassling Deco to the ground, a Dutch player kicking the Portuese star forward directly in the thigh) to merit the cards. It's just that the cards didn't always go in the expected directions...

At this rate, I can't wait to see the England-Portugal match-up. The lackluster English team should lose to Portugal, but since the latter is going to have a number of its best players sitting on the bench for redcards or perhaps injuries, it might be an interesting game indeed.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Steve:

I'm not a big soccer-follower -- like a lot of people my age who grew up in East Coast suburbs, I played as a kid, but I never really got into the MLS or the Premier League -- but I've been watching a fair amount of the World Cup, and the officiating has been just uniformly dreadful. Italy dives like a submarine, and it got them an unearned win over the Aussies, and the Netherlands/Portugal game was astounding. The calls have been NBA-level arbitrary.

(Love the blog, Jack.)

6/26/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon:

Thanks, Steve!

I played as a kid, too, but I was pretty dreadful (as in: my father could no longer stand to watch my matches). I watched a fair amount when I was in Europe, especially when I was in Germany.

I've never seen officiating take center-stage like this in a World Cup.

6/28/2006 08:34:00 AM  

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