Tuesday’s referees reviewed
It’s final orders at the World Cup group game bar and as some stumbled drunkedly to the exit tonight, others are ready to get in another round. The men in black had to make some big calls but did they affect who got through?
Referee: Oscar Ruiz (Colombia)
Yellow cards: 1 – Diaby (France)
Red cards: 1 – Gourcuff (France, straight red)
Whether it was intentional from Ruiz or simply a facet of his refereeing style, but he let this game flow very well with very few unnecessary stoppages.
That was just as well for the two teams who needed a hatful of goals and the other game to go their way to have any chance of qualifying for the last 16. France, their problems off-field widely discussed, were in disarray going into the game and perhaps the final straw to break the camel’s back was the red to Yoann Gourcuff.
While personally I think a stiff word from Ruiz and a yellow would have sufficed, I don’t have any issue with him redding Gourcuff because it is an elbow into MacBeth Siabaya’s neck and Ruiz is perfectly justified in sending him to the dressing room.
Beyond that key incident, it was a routine game for Ruiz, the only other card coming for Abou Diaby in the second-half for unsporting behaviour, a fair call for any official.
Refs rating: 7/10
Referee: Victor Kassai (Hungary)
Yellow cards: 3 – Castro, Hernandez (Mexico) Fucile (Uruguay)
Red cards: 0
Like Ruiz, Kassai also favoured playing the advantage and only the stopping the game when it was really called for. In a contest with a quick tempo, the game was a lot better for that particular approach and this was evident in the number of chances both sides created in a match-up many had feared might be a Latin American gentleman’s draw.
But I do feel he made one critical mistake when he failed to even caution Andres Guardado for his stiff elbow on Perez which left the Uruguayan bleeding profusely and having to wear a makeshift “bandana” for the rest of the first half for safety. It was certainly worthy of a yellow and some officials may have taken it further.
The actual bookings, few that there were, all came in the second half. The first was for Uruguay’s Jorge Fucile for his body challenge on Giovani Dos Santos in what was clearly a yellow. The next was a bit more debatable – Javier Hernandez was cautioned after scuffling around the corner-flag with an opponent – but it wasn’t Hernandez’s first piece of petulance so may have been more to do with an accumulation of tetchy fouls.
The last yellow came with five minutes left on the clock when Israel Castro kicked out at Perez. He could have no complaints and so it proved. It was a strong afternoon from Kassai despite the lenient call on Guardado and I suspect FIFA will recall him for at least another game.
Refs rating: 7/10
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
Yellow cards: 2 – Bolatti (Argentina) Katsouranis (Greece)
Red cards: 0
If Irmatov enjoys watching his football, this was a cruel assignment after England v Algeria. Nonetheless, he made few mistakes and with only 18 fouls called (less than half than were called in Chile v Switzerland), the fact that the ball was mostly stuck in the Greek half, switching between Argetinian attackers and robust Greek defenders made this a static match that wasn’t much of a challenge for Irmatov.
This is in part to the fact that despite being a very defensive side, Greece know that conceding freekicks is risky and not a good idea against Argentina.
The two names Irmatov wrote into his book were Argentina’s Mario Bolatti for his block on Socrates Papastathopoulos (brilliant name) and stalwart Kostantinos Katsouranis for holding back Lionel Messi. Neither was really contestable.
A third match and a third good showing by the Uzbek official – he has yet to be truly tested by a big incident or an emotionally fraught game but he’s done all that could’ve been asked of him so far.
Refs rating: 8/10
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal)
Yellow cards: 4 – Enyeama, Yussuf, Obasi Ogbuke (Nigeria) Kim Nam-Il (South Korea)
Red cards: 0
For once, a clear penalty with an easy yellow card punishment. Thank you Kim Nam-Il. The subsitute hadn’t been on the field long when he almost gave Nigeria a snifter at dumping out the Koreans. His sloppy tackle on Chinedu Obasi was a definite spotkick which Ayegbeni Yakubu dispatched but was ultimately not enough.
Benquerenca had a better game than when he oversaw Japan against Cameroon with the similarity being that match’s were a further setback for African football. Another setback came when Nigeria’s goalie Vincent Enyeama, who looked excellent until his clanger against Greece, fouled Park Ji-Sung outside his area and was rightly booked.
Another yellow which will prove irrespective was Obasi’s – his caution for a trip on Lee Young-Pyo would have caused him to miss Nigeria’s next game in the tournament. As it was, nailbitingly, such a game will now not happen.
Benquerenca has peaked at the right time and I would be surprised if this was last match in South Africa.
Refs rating: 8/10
After some of the trials and tribulations surrounding the men in the middle recently, it was refreshing to a get day, if not free of talking point, was free of bad mistakes. I don’t think this can be sustained for the rest of the final group games but it is a positive sign if nothing else.
I’ll be at my twitter page for all the match updates, referees news and comments for the rest of the eagerly anticipated closing group games.
I thought the red on Gourcuff was harsh until I saw the replay with his running start (like Dempsey). That’s very, very dangerous and completely changed my mind – not quite mandatory, but I don’t think too many gripes can be had with it.
South Africa vs. France
One of the worst referees in this world cup 1st round.
He couldn’t change his previous running and positioning style.
Limited running ability led bad positioning, missing calls, and bad calls.
Players knew they did not change the result of the game-not advance to the second round. So they controlled them selves, not by this lazt referee.
He did not use diagonal running overall.
Posted from United States
Comments are closed