Gary Lineker took aim at referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz for brandishing 13 yellow cards during the dramatic World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and the Netherlands. The World Cup appeared to burst into life for the Netherlands’ blockbuster tie against Argentina on Friday night.
A place in the semi-final against Croatia was at stake for the winner after Brazil was surprisingly knocked out on penalties. All eyes were on the likes of Lionel Messi, Virgil van Dijk, Memphis Depay and Enzo Fernandez to deliver for their countries.
But the referee began to take centre stage towards the end of the first half with a number of yellow cards being handed out. The momentum of the match was continually disrupted with the whistle blown for fouls on a regular basis.
Just before the break, the Spanish official took exception to protests from Wout Weghorst on the Netherlands bench. The players were at fault too with both Depay and Emiliano Martinez booked for their role in a mini brawl in the 75th minute after Messi scored Argentina’s second.
And Lineker likened the Spaniard to former Premier League official Mike Dean.
He tweeted: “13 yellow cards. This referee has always loved to be the centre of attention. Makes Mike Dean seem shy.”
There was still time for even more yellows at the penalty shoot-out with both Denzel Dumfries and Noa Lang being booked for unsportsmanlike conduct.
There were 15 yellow cards, but more likely followed in the scenes after Lautaro Martinez scored his penalty to send Argentina through.
Both sets of squads on the side of the pitch were seen in another mass brawl with Argentina and the Netherlands likely to receive severe punishment from FIFA for failing to control their emotions.