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Spain's Villa, Argentine Refs send Portugal packing for deserved summer vacation.

June 30, 2010
Villa's offside goal sinks Portugal's dreams. Officiating and over reliance on defensive tactics blamed for Portugal's exit.

David Villa Scores against Eduardo, PortugalShortly after admitting to the officiating errors that led to England's legitimate goal being disalllowed or Argentina's offside goal being allowed against Mexico, it was clear that FIFA had taken steps to minimize ongoing media and public perception damage. "Replays can be shown but not when there are controversial situations. We will work on this and be tighter in future." says Nicola Maingot from FIFA. "It has worked so far very well. Last night was a mistake. It should not happen again," he added and it didn´t. Fast forward to the 63rd minute of the Spain and Portugal game and you would think that Villa's goal was 100% legitimate as video footage focused on the Spanish celebration. The video replay of the goal failed to highlight the start of the play which shows Villa in an offside position before Iniesta's pass.


If you go back to the Argentina-Mexico game, the Tevez offside was played over and over again clearly highlighting the offside with video graphics.

During the broadcast of the Spain-Portugal game, the goal which came from Villa's offside position was not even mentioned. FIFA's directive had worked. With the use of video technology we can confirm that Villa was infact in an offside position and that the linesman was not in line with the play to observe the offside. Better positioning by the linesman, and having a second linesman on the opposite side of the field would have permitted proper officiating of the play.

The goal replay FIFA does not want to play - Villa's goal - Spain vs Portugal

Later in the game as time was running out, Portugal found themselves in an attacking position attempting to claw back a goal. At the 89th minute another incident occured which exposed Joan Capdevilla for a sly shrewd embelisher. The incident occured in the spanish box as Ricardo Costa gained positional advantage to the right of Capdevilla, the reaction to Costa's movement triggered a delayed response in the Spanish defender as he realized the threat of Ricardo Costa, Capdevilla went down like he was sucker punched

The commentary on the Guardian sports site read: 

89´RICARDO COSTA SENT OFF! Portugal's full-back gets his marching orders and it looks like a travesty. Joan Capdevila goes down in the penalty area holding his face and the ref produces a red card, apparently for an elbow. I didn't see one, although the BBC commentary team claim there was some evidence of an elbow flailing in the overhead camera angle.

You be the judge:

No matter the controversy, Spain were deserved to advance by their attacking style of play. It's too bad the World could not see what Portugal had to offer. It's unfortunate that Portugal had to exit this competition after conceding a single goal which should not have stood.

The talent in the Selecçao was superior to what was displayed, unfortunately Carlos Queiroz opted for a tactical strategy focusing on a tight defense with an unsuccessful transitional game. Rather than playing to Portugal's strengths which would have offered a Portugal with more width, possession and midfield dominance, the defensive tactics left an impression of negative football as Cristiano Ronaldo was left to stagnate in the offence symbolically representing Portugal's attacking threat.

Portugal can look to the positives of this World Cup 2010 campaign with the terrific performances of goalkeeper Eduardo and left-back Fabio Coentrao, who are both candidates for the best 11 squad in the 2010 World Cup.

View video highlights of the Spain vs Portugal match here:



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Group A
Jun 14 11:00amMoscow
Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Jun 15 8:00amYekaterinburg
Egypt vs Uruguay
Jun 19 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Russia vs Egypt
Jun 20 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia
Jun 25 10:00amVolgograd
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
Jun 25 10:00amSamara
Uruguay vs Russia
Group B
Jun 15 11:00amSaint Petersburg
Morocco vs Iran
Jun 15 2:00pmSochi
Portugal vs Spain
Jun 20 8:00amMoscow
Portugal vs Morocco
Jun 20 2:00pmKazan
Iran vs Spain
Jun 25 2:00pmSaransk
Iran vs Portugal
Jun 25 2:00pmKaliningrad
Spain vs Morocco
Group C
Jun 16 6:00amKazan
France vs Australia
Jun 16 12:00pmSaransk
Peru vs Denmark
Jun 21 8:00amSamara
Denmark vs Australia
Jun 21 11:00amYekaterinburg
France vs Peru
Jun 26 10:00amSochi
Australia vs Peru
Jun 26 10:00amMoscow
Denmark vs France
Group D
Jun 16 9:00amMoscow
Argentina vs Iceland
Jun 16 3:00pmKaliningrad
Croatia vs Nigeria
Jun 21 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Argentina vs Croatia
Jun 22 11:00amVolgograd
Nigeria vs Iceland
Jun 26 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Iceland vs Croatia
Jun 26 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Nigeria vs Argentina
Group E
Jun 17 8:00amSamara
Costa Rica vs Serbia
Jun 17 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Brazil vs Switzerland
Jun 22 8:00amSaint Petersburg
Brazil vs Costa Rica
Jun 22 2:00pmKaliningrad
Serbia vs Switzerland
Jun 27 2:00pmMoscow
Serbia vs Brazil
Jun 27 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Group F
Jun 17 11:00amMoscow
Germany vs Mexico
Jun 18 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
Sweden vs Korea Republic
Jun 23 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Korea Republic vs Mexico
Jun 23 2:00pmSochi
Germany vs Sweden
Jun 27 10:00amKazan
Korea Republic vs Germany
Jun 27 10:00amYekaterinburg
Mexico vs Sweden
Group G
Jun 18 11:00amSochi
Belgium vs Panama
Jun 18 2:00pmVolgograd
Tunisia vs England
Jun 23 8:00amMoscow
Belgium vs Tunisia
Jun 24 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
England vs Panama
Jun 28 2:00pmKaliningrad
England vs Belgium
Jun 28 2:00pmSaransk
Panama vs Tunisia
Group H
Jun 19 8:00amSaransk
Colombia vs Japan
Jun 19 11:00amMoscow
Poland vs Senegal
Jun 24 11:00amYekaterinburg
Japan vs Senegal
Jun 24 2:00pmKazan
Poland vs Colombia
Jun 28 10:00amVolgograd
Japan vs Poland
Jun 28 10:00amSamara
Senegal vs Colombia
Knockout Stage

Round of 16
Jun 30 10:00amKazan
[1C] vs [2D]
Jun 30 2:00pmSochi
[1A] vs [2B]
Jul 1 10:00amMoscow
[1B] vs [2A]
Jul 1 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
[1D] vs [2C]
Round of 16
Jul 2 10:00amSamara
[1E] vs [2F]
Jul 2 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
[1G] vs [2H]
Jul 3 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[1F] vs [2E]
Jul 3 2:00pmMoscow
[1H] vs [2G]
Quarter Final
Jul 6 10:00amNizhny Novgorod
[W49] vs [W50]
Jul 6 2:00pmKazan
[W53] vs [W54]
Jul 7 10:00amSamara
[W55] vs [W56]
Jul 7 2:00pmSochi
[W51] vs [W52]
Jul 10 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
[W57] vs [W58]
Jul 11 2:00pmMoscow
[W59] vs [W60]
Third place match
Jul 14 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[L61] vs [L62]
Jul 15 11:00amMoscow
Final: FIFA World Cup 2018