Thursday, June 17, 2010
Ruined by a red card Jon Carter
Sani Kaita's red card for Nigeria for a stupid kick out at Greece's Vasilis Torosidis was not the first time that a player has wasted their side's good position by getting themselves sent off. Soccernet looks back over World Cup history to dig out some of the best.
Zinedine Zidane, France v Italy 2006. The World Cup final. The biggest stage of all. After netting the cheekiest of penalties - chipping it in off the bar - in the first half, Zidane's moment of madness occurred in extra-time with ten minutes to go until a penalty shootout. After an exchange of words that has been the subject of much debate (and indeed a few court cases), the French midfield maestro butted Italy defender Marco Materazzi in the chest and was given his marching orders. The picture that catches him walking past the trophy on his way down the tunnel forms one of the most iconic in World Cup history and France would go on to lose the shootout 5-3.
David Beckham, England v Argentina 1998. A youthful Beckham was playing in his first World Cup and had the expectations of the whole country on his shoulders after impressing with Manchester United in the Premier League. But his temperament came to the fore just after half-time with the score at 2-2 when, lying on the ground, he aimed a backflick at Argentina's Diego Simeone, who promptly fell over and rolled around. Beckham was shown the red card and, despite England's dogged defending to force penalties, they lost the shootout 4-3.
Khalid Boulahrouz, Netherlands v Portugal 2006. The first World Cup match ever with four red cards, Netherlands went behind to a Maniche goal on 23 minutes but then had Costinha sent off before the half, giving the Dutch a one-man advantage. Luis Figo was lucky to stay on the pitch for a headbutt on Mark van Bommel, but then the Portuguese schemer made a lot of a tussle with Boulahrouz to get him a second yellow card (his yellow had been a horrible stamp on Ronaldo's thigh after six minutes). Although Deco and Gio van Bronckhorst followed, the Dutch never managed to get back into the game after Boulahrouz's exit and they lost 1-0.
Pedro Monzon, Argentina 0-1 West Germany 1990. Monzon was sent off for a foul on Jurgen Klinsmann, becoming the first player ever to be sent off in a World Cup final, when the score was tied at 0-0. Andreas Brehme netted the winner from the penalty spot in the 85th minute but, not content with giving the Germans a one-man advantage, Argentina made sure that they were down to nine men after Gustavo Dezotti hauled Jurgen Kohler to the ground two minutes later.
But of course there are always times when having ten men (or even nine) makes no difference. Perhaps one of the best sendings off in World Cup history proves just that.Benjamin Massing, Cameroon v Argentina 1990. One of the biggest shocks in World Cup history, the Africans' win over Argentina was tempered by two sendings off. Andre Kana-Biyik got the first card, before his brother Francois Omam-Biyik headed the winner. But it was Benjamin Massing who hammered Claudio Canniggia with the most blatant of fouls after a spectacular run that was ended violently, putting him into the red card hall of fame.