Portugal Downs Horrible Ref to Advance

It was bound to happen. In a World Cup of quick yellow cards, and just some shaky officiating overall, a match was finally dominated by an abysmal performance by the man in the middle. the Russian referee completely lost control of this match, sending off two from each side and handing out the most yellows ever in a World Cup match. Oh, and by the way, Portugal beat Holland 1-0.

At least the outcome is as it should have been. Holland put on a shameful performance. As soon as it was clear the game had descended into anarchy, it was The Netherlands who were diving, instigating, and generally showing extremely poor sportsmanship. Refusing to return the ball to Portugal after an injury stoppage at one point. Silly little school yard stuff from a team that doesn’t believe it can win.

Portugal deserved the victory. I was glad to see them hold on.

Things continue to go exactly England’s way as Portugal will not have the services of Deco nor Costinha due to a referee that would make you long for even the likes of a Graham Poll, at his show-boating worst. Pretty boy, Christiano Ronaldo, also took a little bump on the thigh and could be out as well.

Holland seem to still be plagued by internal turmoil. I’m no great fan of Ruud Van Nistleroy, but it was shocking to see him continue to sit late in the match while the Dutch were up a man and down a goal. It was the exact kind of situation he excels in. If they really wanted to win, he had to be on the pitch. I guess coach Marco Van Basten’s proving his point, whatever it was, was more important than the win.