One red card deserves another

DEREK VAN DIEST, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 11:38 AM ET

It was one of the strangest sights ever seen in a soccer game.

Portuguese midfielder Jose Egas dos Santos Branco, who goes by the name Zequinha, pulled the red card out of the hand of Malaysian referee Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh while he was showing it to teammate.

For that, Zequinha was ejected himself last night late in a 1-0 loss to Chile.

He then proceeded to blow his lid and had to be restrained by his teammates and then escorted off the field.

"I saw that happen once before playing youth soccer when a player pulled the card out of referees hand," said Chilean striker Nicolas Media.

"But he was giving it to that player. I've never seen it happen at the professional level and certainly not at the international level."

The original red card was going to defender Mano (Luis Miguel Lopes Mendes) who shoved Chilean defender Christian Sepulveda after an altercation.

As Salleh had the card raised, showing it to Mano, Zequinha came up behind the referee and took it right out of his hand.

The referee took the card back and showed it to Zequinha, leaving Portugal two players short.

"Of course it's disappointing, where you're in the final minutes and you need to score and time is in the favour of your competitor," said Portuguese head coach Jose Couceiro.

"It's exactly at this moment that you have to be able to keep yourself calm to be able to score and perform well. But what happened is we couldn't keep ourselves cool and we gave the advantage to Chile."


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