FIFA World Cup

Wilson Palacios and the 13 Earliest Red Cards Since FIFA 2006 World Cup

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2014

Wilson Palacios and the 13 Earliest Red Cards Since FIFA 2006 World Cup

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    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Wilson Palacios was sent off for Honduras in the first half of their FIFA 2014 World Cup match against France on Sunday, leaving his side to play out the vast majority of the game with 10 men.

    He's far from the only player to suffer such a fate, with 13 players sent off in the first 45 minutes of games in the last two World Cup finals alone.

    Here's a rundown of the fastest of those red cards from South Africa 2010 and Germany 2006, measuring up how Palacios stacks against them in the early-bath stakes.

45 Minutes: Costinha, Pablo Mastroeni, Albert Nad, Jan Polak, Ziad Jaziri

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    Start the clip at 1:17 for United States' Pablo Mastroeni's ankle-jarring, two-footed lunge on Andrea Pirlo at the 2006 World Cup—he got a straight red, just before half-time, for his awful attempt at a tackle.

    Elsewhere, Portugal's Costinha was shown two yellow cards against Netherlands right before the half-time whistle and the same fate befell Ziad Jaziri of Tunisia against Ukraine, Czech Republic's Jan Polak against Italy and Serbia and Montenegro's Albert Nad, up against Ivory Coast.

    All of those red cards occurred in Germany '06.

43 Minutes: Wilson Palacios, Honduras

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Wilson Palacios was walking a tightrope from kick-off almost, barging into French players and making poor tackles all over the place.

    He earned his first yellow for a triple tackle/kick/stamp on Paul Pogba just before the half-hour mark, when in truth he could have seen red straight away for that instant.

    Only 15 minutes later, though, he was off anyway—a barge in the penalty area conceded a penalty, scored by Karim Benzema, and Honduras man Palacios was off for an early bath.

37 Minutes: Marco Estrada, Chile and Miroslav Klose, Germany

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    There was a fair bit of confusion around the red card for Chile's Marco Estrada, as he was involved in an off-the-ball incident just as Spain were busy scoring their second goal in a group stage game at the last World Cup.

    Andres Iniesta scored, but instead of celebrations there were recriminations, as Estrada had seemingly deliberately tripped Fernando Torres over on the opposite side of the penalty box. Having already been booked, he was then sent off, leaving his side in a spot of bother.

    Miroslav Klose is far more associated with World Cup goals than cards, but he was also dismissed for a second booking against South Africa in 2010.

35 Minutes: Teddy Lucic, Sweden

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    About as soft as you could get for a first-half red card, this one.

    Teddy Lucic of Sweden had already been booked against Germany, and he received his marching orders just 10 minutes before the break after pulling back an opponent on the counter-attack.

    As if that wasn't bad enough, the referee decides to have a good laugh as he dishes out the red.

33 Minutes: Sani Kaita, Nigeria

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    That split-second of horror and I-want-to-take-it-back you feel when you know you've done something intolerably overreactive and stupid.

    Yeah, that, Sani Kaita.

    Straight red, Nigeria were up 1-0...and lost 2-1.

31 Minutes: Valon Behrami, Switzerland

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    To be fair, Swiss midfielder Valon Behrami is battling away gamely here to keep possession in the face of big pressure from his Chilean opponents.

    To be equally fair, he takes at least three attempts to clobber the pair of them across the face before he makes telling contact, resulting in a straight red card after only half an hour of play. Chile won the game 1-0.

28 Minutes: Daniele De Rossi, Italy

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    If Behrami made "telling contact," then Daniele De Rossi made a forceful, purposeful and sickening impact on Brian McBride's face back in 2006.

    This first round clash ended 1-1 in terms of both goals and red cards—it's the same game as Pablo Mastroeni's red card from earlier on in the slideshow.

    Not a great day for sportsmanship!

25 Minutes: Yoann Gourcuff, France

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    Yoann Gourcuff was once seen as the next greatest talent of French football, the heir of Zinedine Zidane. The only real thing he has in connection with the legend at the World Cup is a red card, after he was dismissed after only 25 minutes against South Africa at the last tournament finals.

    This offence saw Gourcuff go in high with his elbow in a headed challenge—nothing deliberate, in all likelihood, but enough for the ref to call dangerous play.

24 Minutes: Harry Kewell, Australia

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    The quickest red card in the last two World Cups was awarded to Australia's Harry Kewell, who denied Ghana a goalscoring opportunity by way of a handball on the line in the group stage at South Africa 2010.

    Not much he could have done about it perhaps, but still a red card offence in the eyes of the referee after a somewhat deliberate arm-movement toward the ball. The scoreline ended 1-1 after Asamoah Gyan tucked away the resulting spot-kick.

    Will we see an earlier red in the 2014 World Cup?

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