Friday, June 18, 2010

World Cup's worst red card

It was hardly Zidane headbutting Materazzi in the 2006 final, but Sani Kaita's straight red card for kicking out at Vasilas Torosidis in the 33rd minute of Nigeria's 2-1 loss to Greece looks likely to be the silliest foul/sending off of this World Cup.

With Nigeria up 1-0 after an early goal, Kaita and Torosidis came together in an awkward clash as they both chased down a wayward ball and Torosidis collected it for a throw in. Torosidis made like he was going to shove the ball at Kaita, who almost reflexively kicked out at the Greek defender, grazing his leg with his foot.

Well, Torosidis made the most of it and went to the ground with dramatic flair to make sure the referee saw what happened. He did and Kaita was sent off.

Kaita immediately regretted the act and trudged off the pitch with his shirt covering his face. Greece went on to score a pair of goals while a man up - including the winner from Torosidis - and earned its first victory in World Cup history. And they have Kaita to thank for that. 

Of course, there are a lot of matches left to go and you never know what Rino Gattuso will do under a full moon, but this could be hard to beat.

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