It was a brutal match with tempers flaring, red cards flying, and not what one thinks of when referring to ‘the beautiful game’ But I confess that the Portugal Netherlands battle was fun to watch. I know, I know, I really should should scoff at the players behavior, but after the England-Ecuador sleeper it was a welcome change.
Isn’t the slogan of this World Cup "a time to make friends?"…
…I’m starting to think neither team got the memo.
A World Cup record 4 red cards and a record tying 16 yellow cards. Ouch. Many felt the ref lost control earlier in the match and was forced to clamp down once things got out of hand. But most of the bookings were deserved. FIFA’s president felt the officiating was a problem:
"There could have been a yellow card for the referee," said Fifa president Sepp Blatter. "He was not at the same level as the players.
I think that was a bit harsh. Both teams were acting like goons at times and I was really upset that the Netherlands twice took a drop ball after a Portugal injury and didn’t return the ball to Portugal. Classless. MadJock posted a analysis where he went back through the match on Tivo to review each booking. Worth a read.