Sunday, June 25, 2006

Refs at it again

Too much of this on Sunday (see above). Portugal gets through to the 1/4 finals after surviving a card filled game that the Russian ref lost control of early on in the game.

Portugal go up 1-0 on a great move inside the 18 yard box between Deco - Pauleta - Maniche. Seeing Maniche finish clinically. The rest of the match degenerated, we should have seen this coming with the hard fouls on Ronaldo, eventually forcing him to ask out with an injury. But must much be said about the referreeing, setting a record 16 cards. Reducing both teams to 9 players. What is going on with this World Cup and the cards. Can we see a game end with 11 players on each side? Of the 4 round of sixteen games half have ended will equal strength 11 player teams on both sides. The refs are out of control with the cards.

Van Basten needs to be critized as well, how do you leave Van Nistelrooy on the bench all game when you need a goal? Inexcusable. Van Basten will be questioned for that move or lack of move for years.

Finally the only team smiling tonight is England who now face a depleted Portugal team without Deco and Constinha, and potentially without Ronaldo depending on the injury. I was not able to see the England victory on Equador but from all reports it was another lackluster exhibity by the three lions....they survived but at some point they will need to do more than that. I fear that against a depleted Portugal they have a chance to move on to the next stage despite themselves.

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