Monday, June 30, 2014

Sorry Mexico, He Made the Right Call

After watching the foul given to Arjen Robben in the Netherlands/Mexico game enough times, my belief is confirmed: It was a foul.

Did Robben exaggerate the foul, which may have led to a call? Absolutely. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a foul. In fact, had Robben not exaggerated, the ref probably doesn't give him the penalty. However, that's the ref's fault; not Robben's.

A foul is awarded when a player obstructs another player. He doesn't have to be tripped. The player doesn't have to hit the ground. And Robben was CLEARLY obstructed. Had he merely stumbled over Marquez's leg, and almost got the ball, the ref likely doesn't make the call. But in such a moment, why should Robben do that? He was obstructed. Marquez missed the ball. He hit his foot, and nothing else. Knowing this, Robben exaggerated the play and received the call.

Make no mistake though: it was a foul. Not as bad as it looked, but knowing the refs, he had to let them see it.

Now we have the Mexican Coach going bananas over the call, and claiming "El Tri" is out of the cup because of it. It's a convenient excuse, and if I were him I'd be repeating it over and over. That's because he decided at the 57th minute of the game to take his best player off the field, and attempt to try and hold off one of the world's best offenses for 35 minutes. Instead of making his best defense a good offense, he attempted a shell. When that happened, Mexico lost. The Netherlands were marching down the field for most of the second half, and dominating. But Coach Herrera doesn't want to focus on that. No. He wants to focus on the foul.

In other words, ignore his weak decision to try and maintain a soft one goal lead against a world power.

Well guess what? He's wrong on both accounts.

And if you don't want a penalty to be called, keep the opponent out of the box. Mexico couldn't do that for nearly an entire half.

That's why they lost.

Not because Robben forced the ref to make the RIGHT call.

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