Saturday’s referee reviewed
In professional terms, this was the footballing equivalent of the gold watch for Benito Archundina. He’s not retiring from refereeing just yet but under FIFA rules, this will be his final World Cup and the veteran official will have wanted to go out well. It’s a game that many believe has no real credence but did the right side win?
Referee: Benito Archundia
Yellow cards: 4 – Friedrich, Aogo, Caucau (Germany) Perez (Uruguay)
Red card: 0
While it was never too heated down there tonight, there would’ve been a minor riot had Dennis Aogo’s challenge on Diego Perez caused the injury it could have done. Slo-mo replays of Perez’s ankle bending underneath caused winces from my local TV station’s pundits and no doubt around the world.
The issue in a match like this is that you have to reset your parameters – did Archundia only give Aogo a yellow because he didn’t feel the tackle was that severe, it did he see the challenge clearly and feel that in the circumstances, with no injury actually caused and the match more of an exhibition that a caution was all it warranted?
We’ll never know but then again while we had to change the way we viewed the refereeing performance, the players own discipline was markedly changed from the rest of the tournament. Diving and simulation was at a minimum and it led to a physical and free-flowing game – if only we could have seen this from more teams, more times at these finals.
Perez was later cautioned himself for bringing down German skipper Bastian Schweinsteiger, a stonewall yellow card if ever there was one.
No real question of offside on Thomas Muller’s opening goal, another competitor was just about level but Muller timed his run perfectly and the defence could do nothing.
I’d like to think the Mexican wave was the supporters own way of saying goodbye to Archundia but in reality it was probably the laidback atmosphere of the fans, somewhat relieved at the less nail-biting and buttock-clenching that this contest brought compared with previous matches involving these sides.
There were amusing echoes of those previous contest though – the sight of Luis Suarez berating the official for an opponent’s handball will have caused some much witnessed irony. It came when Diego Forlan’s fizzing freekick was blocked by the hand of Cacau in the wall and Archundia, on spotting it, awarded Uruguay another setpiece opportunity and showed the Die Mannschaft striker a yellow.
Another freekick, late on in the game, earned them a chance in injury time to level the game at 3-3 when Arne Friedrich was booked for tackling the oft-mentioned Suarez. From the resulting strike, Forlan almost brought the scores equal and gave himself a shot at the Golden Boot. As it was, the crack of the bar above Hans Joerg Butt probably muffled the sound of Forlan’s heart sinking as the ball swung away simueltaniously with Archundia blowing the final whistle on the game and possible his international career.
Refs rating: 8/10
A very good performance by Archundia, he should’ve been chosen for the final. The only mistake -apart from the yellow-instead of red for Aogo – was the offside call on a direct pass to Cavani as he was getting to a one-on-one with Butt. Although it was the linesman’s fault. Still, he was razor sharp today.
Posted from Poland
Shut out to Canadians: one of the assistants in this game hails from Winnipeg.
What about the backpass to Muselera taht he missed?
The pass back to the keeper was not deliberate, hence no infraction.
Posted from United States
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