For years, New Zealand football has taken a back seat to the likes of rugby, league and cricket. Not anymore. In a game that was so important for New Zealand football, 35,000 fans turned up and supported the All Whites in what was an amazing game.
On a windy night in the capital, 2 teams met playing very different styles of football. The Bahrain team played fancy football, making the most of every tackle. While the all whites played a simple game, yet still were the best team. Larrionda handled the preasure of the game very well, as well as managing the play acting from Bahrain superbly.
Refereeing flash points
There was a penalty given in the favour of Bahrain in the 50th minute, correct call. The penalty was missed though, a great save from the all whites keeper, Mark Paston. 3 cards were shown on the night, 1 very early on to Ben Sigmund for a late tackle. Set the tone for the game, refereed strongly, but letting the players play.
This season, I've probably watched upper of 100 games and I can honestly say, in all of those games, Jorge Larrionda was the best referee. Superb.
1 thing I noticed was how the 2 ARs exagerated their signals for corners and offsides. Maybe it is just the way things are done over in Uraguay but it looked mighty strange!