10-Man T & T Stuns Sweden then Argentina Holds on to Beat the Ivory Coast
While I was out refereeing some high level youth matches, you were most likely watching some of the world’s best footballers. I did a fairly respectable job in my three matches on a VERY windy afternoon and Singaporean ref Shamsul Maidin and Belgian Frank de Bleeckere got things right in their respective matches as well.
Trinidad & Tobago, playing their first-ever World Cup match, featured a defender named Brent Sancho who plays for Gillingham in England. I had the pleasure of meeting him back in 2001 when he was a member of the Portland Timbers and I was a radio talk-show producer.
But while Sancho played valiantly in keeping the Swedes scoreless, his teammate Avery John earned a pair of well-deserved cautions – one for a reckless late challenge in the 15th minute after the ref allowed the Swedes to play an advantage and the other only seconds after the second half had begun for another dangerous play on the ball.
Still, and not without a fair bit of dissent, the debutante Caribbeans staved off a furious Swedish attack and even managed some opportunities of their own after changing to a more offensive formation following John’s dismissal.
The only other bookings went to Dwight Yorke in the 74th for encroaching on a free kick and then in the game’s dying moments when Henrik Larsson saw yellow for slicing down an opponent after losing control of the ball.
The ref let ‘em play, but was always on the spot to make the right call…and after T & T earned a point for their work in this scoreless battle, I doubt they had much to complain about regarding John’s early exit.
Later, with its country mired in a civil war temporarily put on hold for the World Cup, the Ivory Coast made its first-ever World Cup appearance facing South American giants Argentina. As with all previous matches, de Bleeckere and his Belgian assistants didn’t miss a beat.
In they 14th minute they wisely chose to ignore Argentine claims of a handball in the box when the ball inadvertently hit a defender’s arm. And then moments later when the goalie appeared to pull the ball back from inside his own net, the replay seemed to agree with the assistant who never raised his flag to indicate a goal. While the ball might have been 90% across the line, it never did seem to cross all the way in.
Shortly after Crespo tallied the opener in the 24th from inside the goal box following a scramble in the wake of a tough Riquelme free kick, the referee brought Heinze and Drogba together to kiss and make up after a bit of argy bargy.
In the 38th, Saviola was just onside while his two teammates not involved in the play were not. It was a perfectly timed pass by Riquelme as Saviola one-touched it past the Ivorian keeper to give Argentina a seemingly insurmountable two goal advantage.
In the 49th Heinze would earn the game’s first caution for going studs up on Drogba. And later in the 70th, the ref made a good call not to award a p.k…and the striker never even protested even though commentator Shep Messing argued on-air on behalf of Drogba.
In the 81st Luis Gonzalez earned a caution for an errant tackle from behind and then a minute later it was Drogba from eight yards out to breathe some life into his squad with little time left. 2 – 1 Argentina.
A few minutes later Maxi Rodriguez appeared to put the game out of reach when he followed up on a rebounded shot and put it into the back of the net. But he was in an offside position when the original shot was taken and the goal would not stand.
In the game’s dying moments and in a fit of frustration, Drogba earned a needless caution when he threw the ball angrily at the Argentine keeper Abondanzierri so he could get the ball back in play more quickly. Soon thereafter the referee blew his final whistle and two of Chelsea’s strikers who had scored in this match for their respective countries – Crespo and Drogba – could be seen hugging at the center circle.
Another day of quality stuff on the pitch from players and referees alike. Sepp Blatter is smiling somewhere today.
Until next time…
Maidin missed two very big calls in the match. The first was serious foul play by Ibrahimovic, who three times tried to elbow an TnT player who was closely marking him. The first two elbows were delivered to the chest the last one if he had connected would have resulted in a broken nose or loss of teeth. It was cynical and should have resulted in an immediate send off. The second incident was on a cynical scissors tackle by Henrik Larsson after he had been displaced from the abll against a TnT player. Forgive if I do not share your analysis.
Posted from United States
[...] Shamsul Maisin of Singapore will be the central referee for the Angola match in Hannover. Maisin was in charge of the TnT-Sweden Match, in which he presented the cup’s first red card to Avery John. Here is a write up of the ref’s performance written by a referee. [...]
Posted from United States
Comments are closed