25 June, 2006

Off!: Portugal 1 Holland 0

The evening match will decide England's next opponents, so the nation watches with interest. Both teams have looked good in the groups, without being in any way outstanding.

Maniche gets the first goal 23 minutes in, a skilful shimmy in the box outwitting the Dutch defenders. Portugal look comfortable in an uneventful half, until just before the break Costinha receives a second yellow card and is sent off.

Holland return to the pitch looking a lot more positive. With the extra man they attack strongly and keep Portugal pinned in their own half. Maniche makes Edwin van der Saar work with a long-range shot, but Holland have nearly all of the chances.

They can't score, however, and it all changes again when Figo is struck by the flailing arm of Khalid Boulahrouz, who is sent off having received his second yellow of the game. Replays suggest it is a harsh decision, with Figo's reaction rather over the top, but it is ten against ten.

The referee is dishing out yellow cards without needing much encouragement, so it is a surprise that no-one is sent off when a brawl erupts between the teams. Normal service is resumed when Deco is given his marching orders five minutes later, apparently because of having his shirt pulled by Philip Cocu.

After this third dismissal the match calms down and football is played. It doesn't last long though, Giovanni van Bronckhorst receiving the 16th yellow card and the 4th red of the match deep into injury time.

Amidst the madness Portugal hold on for the win, but will play England next week with two players missing.


Nik said...

At least we wont have to put up with Deco falling over and flailing in agony everytime someone breathes near him then

Baz said...

don't forget Figo's headbutt (if you can call it that). The ref didn't see it but carded him anyway, which probably means that FIFA cannot do anything about it. But a headbutt is still a headbutt (even such a gentle one) and Figo ought to be punished for it.

Baz said...

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink as name of the tournament?

Rish said...

It's almost certainly one of the longest names of the tournament. You wouldn't be happy if your kid wanted his name on the back of their shirt...

Rish said...

Luis Felipe Scolari talks about Figo's headbutt: "Jesus said we should turn the other cheek, unfortunately, Figo is not Jesus Christ."


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