No fewer than four Impact players went into referee Ramy Touchan’s notebook in a 16 minute spell as yesterday’s game reached its conclusion.
He’d already booked three from the visitors. The game was well-contested but never dirty or ill-tempered. It certainly didn’t ‘feel’ like a seven-card game.
A case could potentially be made for six of the seven cautions to be fair, although you’d wonder why the initial foul on Piatti went unsanctioned, prompting him to lose the rag and produce the over-zealous challenge that brought his yellow.
But it’s hard not to take issue with the caution presented to unlucky Shamit Shome in the 82nd minute. Shome was going for a ball when Anibaba came in low from behind with a diving header. It was a brave challenge by Anibaba, one which could have and did result in injury, but also one that had scant regard for his own safety.
It’s the type of challenge fans love to see, the ‘going through a brick wall for your team’ type of manoeuvre that fans, colleagues and coaches respect in players with this fearless attitude. Old-style centre-backs and some centre-forwards have been consolidating their reputations for years by displaying such bravery.
So, you wonder why then, that the less aggressive of the two players involved received a yellow card?
Because the other was injured and had to be treated?
Because there was blood?
One would have to conclude those factors influenced the man in the middle.
Shome was simply trying to gain possession of the ball. There was nothing abnormal or overly aggressive about his demeanour, and there was certainly no case for ‘high feet’ or disregard for his opponent’s safety.
Interestingly, Remi Garde was asked at his post-match press conference about the rash of yellow cards towards the end of the game. He chose his words carefully and thoughtfully, although did highlight the incident under discussion.
“I think that, how can I say in English to be very accurate? I think sometimes the ref should feel a little bit more, the game. I’m not saying that to be bad against the ref, but I mean the yellow card for example, for Shamit. I think Shamit cannot see the guy coming from the back and it’s not intentionally that the feet goes on the head of the opponent, especially because the head was very low.”
“Then it is a free-kick, but why a yellow card? Because the head of the player is touched. I know concussion is something very important here. Just for stuff like that you know.”
“I am not saying the ref was not good. He was good.”
The yellow card that hurts the most though is not Shome’s. Samuel Piette received another as the game headed towards it’s 96th minute. It now rules the midfielder out of Friday’s difficult trip to LA and ends his record run of 53 consecutive starts for his hometown club.
He knew of the implications straightaway as he pummelled the turf with his fist in frustration.
At least it wasn’t as soft as Shome’s ...
Shome’s yellow card - It was, or it wasn’t?
This poll is closed
It was a clear yellow
Seen them given, it was possibly a yellow, hard to tell.
It was never a yellow. Shome did not endanger the opponent.