I’m a little behind on posting this, but still wanted to put my two cents in…
Spain defeated the Netherlands 1-0 in overtime to take their first ever World Cup trophy. The game seemed to be a defensive battle since neither team really had a lot of chances. There were a few near misses at both ends, but the Dutch had probably the biggest lost opportunity. The chance came when Robben made a run down the middle and was fed a great through ball that set him up for a breakaway. As he went by the last defender for Spain, Puyol grabbed him around the waist in an attempt to slow him or take him down. Robben powered his way through and continued to play. The ref ignored the attempt to by Puyol to take Robben down. If the ref had called the foul it would have been at least a yellow card, but since Puyol was the last man it really should have been a red. Throughout the tournament many strikers took dives. Including later in the final when a ref issued a second yellow to a Dutch defender that clearly was a dive by the Spanish forward. I even saw a Portuguese forward take a dive in the box after beating the last defender which put him 1 on 1 with the keeper. Just dumb… the ref didn’t call it by the way. The fact that Robben stayed up and continued to play even though he was hampered by the desperate shows Robben’s character.. But should he have taken the dive? And why did the ref allow this to happen even though he certainly wasn’t afraid to throw cards as he set a record for the number of cards issued in the final?
Anyway, congratulations to Spain for earning their first World Cup trophy. It was a controversial tournament with goals allowed/disallowed and many questionable calls. It seemed to me that in many cases the referee was too much of a factor in the games.
What do you think?