World Cup referees have already been busy, with four sending offs in just three days… three of them coming yesterday.
In Algeria vs. Slovenia, nothing much was happening until Abdelkader Ghezzal handled the ball in the box, earning him a second yellow card and a visit to the showers. Six minutes later, Slovenia’s Robert Koren hits it into the corner of the net and the Europeans win 1-nil.
Second game: Ghana-Serbia and more snoring until Aleksander Lukovic held Asamoah Gyan’s arm… earning a second yellow. Off he goes. Then in the 83rd, Zdravko Kuzmanovic plays the ball with his hand, earning him a yellow… and Ghana a free kick. Gyan converts and Ghana wins 1-0, making them the first African team to win a World Cup match on African soil.
The third game involved Germany giving Die Mannschaft to Australia. (BTW, what a great name for a bar in a certain Toronto neighbourhood). Deutschland was already up 2-0 when the Socceroos went down to 10 men. And if there was a team that was going to get a red, it was the Aussies. Neill, Emerton and Cahill are all known for their cynical challenges… and Ginger Kev called Cahill to get the red. The midfielder-cum-forward went in with a late two-footer and got the boot himself.
The record for red cards in a single tournament is 28, set last time around at Germany 2006. If you include Uruguay’s red on Friday, this tournament already has four… which means it’s on pace for 40. But that’s just my shady math. I’m a writer, damn it, not a miracle worker.