Wednesday’s referees reviewed
Last gasp goals, a skipper gets sent off and Australia try and get through a World Cup game without seeing red. Four more teams book their plane tickets home and four others book themselves a place in the next round. But how did the officials fare?
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)
Yellow cards: 3 – Dokic, Dedic, Birsa (Slovenia) Johnson (England)
Red cards: 0
Stark had a good game overall. He was quick to penalise softer fouls but he kept this style up throughout the game and it was equal for both sides. Ultimately, he made very few poor stoppages.
The first-half elbow on goalscorer Jermaine Defoe did go unpunished but it would only have ever been a booking, not a red for his Slovenian opponent. The German did make an error though when he carded Glen Johnson for diving when the England defender had done no such thing.
When Bojan Jokic tackled Johnson, he received a booking of his own which would have caused him to miss Slovenia’s last 16 clash – had such a match existed after late drama saw the Eastern Europeans eliminated.
I’m confident Stark will officiate further matches in the tournament and I feel he deserves to after this highly assured and balanced display.
Refs rating: 7/10
Referee: Frank de Bleeckere (Belgium)
Yellow cards: 3 – Yahia, Lacen, Yebda (Algeria) Altidore (USA)
Red cards: 1 – Yahia (Algeria – second yellow)
If Stark blew for quite weak fouls at times, de Bleeckere is an official in the classic style who is quite happy for physical challenges and plenty of jostling as long they are not with excessive force.
American fans were outraged with linesmen Peter Hermans flag when Dempsey netted but replays show it was a very tight call and may have even been offside by his hand. With a decision as close as that when even replays aren’t too clear, we cannot blame Hermans for his flag as it was either a minor mistake on a hugely difficult call or a tremendous spot from him.
As for de Bleeckere’s sending off of Desert Foxes skipper Anther Yahia, Algeria fans can have few complaints. His opening yellow for a late tackle on Jozy Altidore was justified and he was lucky not be given his marching orders eight minutes before end when he clouted Clint Dempsey, drawing blood.
With his team facing defeat head-on after Landon Donovan’s late strike, Yahia’s aggressive tirade of De Bleeckere was definitive dissent and while one could understand his frustration, there is no excuse for him unloading it onto the official.
Refs rating: 8/10
Referee: Carlos Simon (Brazil)
Yellow cards: 2 – Ayew (Ghana) Muller (Germany)
Red cards: 0
Unlike the close of Group C, this was not a contest hugely based around power and strength. But it had a quick tempo and that may have found Simon slightly wanting on both his ability to full keep up with play and how he shifted around the pitch.
He missed German skipper Phillip Lahm handling the ball in the area when Ghana had an excellent shout for a third penalty in three games.
His yellow for Andre Ayew was a tad harsh as while he studs were up for his tackle, he got something on the ball and it wasn’t overly reckless. But Germany’s Thomas Muller was rightly cautioned far trying to chase the ball from Ghana’s defense and unleashing his frustration with a scrappy sliding challenge that never looked like getting close to Jabulani. However both these bookings showed that he’d be taking a hard line on reckless efforts to get the ball.
But Simon kept a level of discipline over the contest and beyond the penalty incident, he refereed the occasion in a good style. But the South American teams success means we might not see him again at the finals.
Refs rating: 6/10
Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay)
Yellow cards: 5 – Beauchamp, Emerton, Wilkshire (Australia) Lukovic, Ninkovic (Serbia)
Red cards: 0
At times I worried that this might turn into the card-fest that was Croatia v Australia in 2006. But luckily due to forceful officiating and more disciplined players, there were 22 players on the field at the end.
Luke Wilkshire could’ve been sent off but in the split decision Larrionda had to see his offence, he could be excused for not showing the red. His yellow for a second-half foul was the minimum he deserved overall but he was the victim when Aleksandar Lukovic challenged him from behind and few could argue with a booking for the Serbian defender.
There was yet another “elbow controversy” in the game as Nemanja Vidic swung his humerus into Tim Cahill but it was while play was stopped and either Larrionda didn’t see it clearly or chose to let it go as a freekick had already been awarded. Cahill made the most of it but he’s hardly kept his nose clean in the tournament either.
The Australian’s midfielder’s handling of the ball was also missed by the official but Brett Emerton was cautioned, rather harshly, for a slide when he got most of the ball and it seemed the Serbian tripped over his legs. Michael Beauchamp could have no complaints about his yellow either when he stamped on a Serbian boot during an unwieldly tackle.
But, a strange as it might sound from the above descriptions, Larrionda had a great game. The players respect him, he has excellent vision and he is very considered in his judgements. Other officials may have lost control of this contest but Larrionda kept an even kilter on it throughout and though Uruguay’s excellent progress may throw a spanner in the works in terms of taking charge of knockout football, I think Larrionda will have another outing at these finals.
Ref rating: 8/10
As is the norm for the rest of the finals, I’ll be on my twitter page with game updates and the latest news.
Offsides is with the body, head, and feet. Not the position of the arm and hands.
Check the interactive video on:
Posted from United States
what about the disallowed penalty for Serbia at 87th minute when Cahill hit the ball with his hand inside the penalty area?!
It was ball to hand not hand to ball. Definitely not deliberate – Cahill’s back was to the ball so how could he avoid a ball he could not see?
Is this the incident you are referring to Andy when you mention the Australian skipper’s handling of the ball? If so, Australia’s captain is Neill, not Cahill.
Serbia can have no complaints. There were a lot of 50:50 challenges that went its way.
Posted from Australia
That handball in the AUS – SRB game should have been a penalty despite Cahill’s lack of intent since his arm was away from his body, above his shoulder and it interfered with an attempt on goal…I’ve seen this called more often than not…at least one of the two goals that was taken away for offside should have counted since even is supposed to be onside….Serbia missed a lot of relatively easy chances despite that and should have still pulled it out, so ultimately they have to blame themselves. The Aussies gave a great effort, but they had a lot of help from the ref when it really counted and ultimately I think that was what provided the margin.
Regarding the Dempsey onside/offside, it seemed there were similar calls against both sides (US and Algeria) later in the game which were consistent with the Dempsey call. My bias was that he wasn’t offside after watching the replay, but it was very close and I admit he even looked a bit offside during real time. (I’m glad as a fan that this call was later made moot!) However, I was under the impression that referees have been directed to give the offensive player the benefit of the doubt in situations like these. This certainly was not the case for the called offsides against both the US and Algeria where it seemed the benefit was given to the defense. Can anyone comment on this?
I agree with Andy that Yahia deserved the second yellow as replays showed a fast gesture seeming like a swipe at the referee’s face. My surprise was that Yebda never collected a second yellow for accumulation for his 5(!) fouls. (http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/round=249722/match=300061461/report.html)
Posted from United States
I disagree with the analysis on the Algerian captain’s sending off…..That was not him in the ref’s face making all those gestures. If you watch carefully, he comes in to restrain his teammates (Halliche if I’m not wrong) from confronting the referee. The ref just booked the first face he saw when he turned around, which happened t be Yahia who had by now pulled his team-mates away. very poor and myopic if you ask me, and no one seems to have noted it!
Posted from United Kingdom
The referee turned away from the Algerians which allowed them to stop their dissent and return to play. Only when the Algerian captain followed the referee to continue the dissent was he booked. If he had not followed the referee, he would not have been booked. I believe that is why no one has excused it.
a couple flaws in your analysis for wednesday, but otherwise good stuff:
1. there were 5 cards in the US game, you say 3, but list 4 (you’re missing Beasley’s handling – which shouldn’t have been a card)…
2. yahia tried pulling the frustrated guy away, he was not the one in the ref’s face
3. first comment above nailed it – a hand or arm can’t make you offside
4. no way a ref who misses a handball in box that would have resulted in a different decision should be given an 8/10.
@ Eric – You’re right, I guess I assumed it was Yahia who made that gesture. Halliche does make the second gesture, but Yebda (or was there another guy with a platinum mohawk?) also makes one right before which is questionable and aggressive (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co2JDKzrSUE at about 0:16). Again, surprised that he never got a second yellow.
Maybe it was as Bob said, but I didn’t see that part of the feed.
Posted from United States
stark might’ve made mistakes, but they balanced. and he kept the damn game moving and didn’t become a bigger focus than the ball like so many other refs have.
The way you attempt to justify a mistake by a referre is really interesting, especially when you suggested:
“we cannot blame Hermans for his flag as it was either a minor mistake on a hugely difficult call or a tremendous spot from him. ”
On the other hand, you tend to criticize/antagonize other referees facing similar difficult calls!? such as the one in France vs. Mexico?
I hope this “double standards” is not based on the race of the referee?
I agree with Eric above, the Algerian captain wasn’t in the referees face at all, he went in to hold his teammates back.
Bob, Yahia entered the fray while his teammates were still going at the ref, held out his arms to hold them back, seemed to ask the ref about the call in a polite manner, then was given a yellow. His reaction to the card was classy and deserves praise. He’s got mine.
Barry, I had the same attitude for the linesman in the Mexico game.
“His assistant clearly had his contact lenses in when Mexico managed by a gnat’s hair to keep Javier Hernandez as he broke past French defenders and cooly slotted in the game’s opening goal.”
And I gave Al Ghamdi a lot of credit for many decisions in that game, I just feel his overcarding and stop-start style could be improved.
I must confess – partly due to having two games on at once – that I didn’t get a clear look at the Cahill handball so couldn’t really comment, only mention that it happened. I couldn’t find a suitable video of it before I wrote this piece.
1. While I do make plenty of notes during the game, as an England fan I was focusing more on the Slovenia game so had to rely on the BBC website for the full list of bookings in this game. It appears on further analysis that they incorrectly showed their bookings. They still haven’t updated it:
Won’t be using them again…
2. I have to hold my hands up here but can’t remember who committed the original foul. If it was Yahia, then it may not have been for dissent at all. If it was however mistaken identity, I’ll adjust my rating accordingly.
3. I stand corrected again! Clearly was affected by the beer during the England game…
4. Again, see above.
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