Blind spots and blind luck


Last night’s World Cup consolation match saw Brazil limp out of the competition in fourth place after losing 3:0 to the Netherlands. It was not a great night for the referee, Djamel Haimoudi, who seemed to blunder from one controversial decision to another. Only ninety seconds into the game, he awarded a penalty to the Dutch after Arjen Robben was pulled down just outside the penalty box, leading to Robin Van Persie scoring the first goal. The referee also seemed oblivious to numerous fouls from both sides during the match, and showed a yellow card to Oscar for diving after he was fouled by Daley Blind, instead of awarding a penalty to the Brazilians. Blind may have been lucky to escape a card, but it was still his last action of the match, as he damaged his knee during the tackle. However, he left the pitch content to have added to the tally of Holland’s goals having earlier taken advantage of some woeful defending from the Brazilian side. The match ended at 3:0, a scoreline which didn’t reach the desperate depths of Brazil’s humiliation from Germany, but one which didn’t salvage much pride either. Meanwhile, the Dutch might go home in third place, but they go home unbeaten, which is an achievement they can feel proud of.

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