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A yellow card is the reason Portugal aren’t topping their World Cup group

Portugal midfielder Adrien Silva's 89th minute yellow card is the only reason Spain are top of Group B

Spain’s World Cup squad is a glorious mix of world class technicians and bastards with bins for hearts.

Isco mixing it with Sergio Ramos. Andres Iniesta trying to avoid Diego Costa’s overly enthusiastic rough and tumble.

So it’s slightly ironic that Spain, not Portugal, currently top Group B because of their exemplary disciplinary record.


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‘Ref, I insist you let me help you carry your shopping across the road’

Getty - Contributor
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‘Ref, I insist you let me help you carry your shopping across the road’

Portugal and Spain both boast four points after two games, having followed up their opening round draw with 1-0 wins against Morocco and Iran respectively.

Both sides has scored four goals and conceded three times, giving them a goal difference of +1.

So the only thing separating the two at the moment is Adrien Silva’s 89th minute yellow card against Morocco.

Carlos Costly

Getty - Contributor
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Carlos Costly

It’s not inconceivable that, with only one game left to play in Group B, Silva’s booking might cost Portugal top spot.

Spain take on the impressive but eliminated Morocco in their final game, while Portugal meet Iran.

If teams can’t be separated on points, goal difference or goals scored, then it comes down to the following.

  • Yellow card- minus one point
  • Indirect red cars (as a result of second yellow card)- minus 3 points
  • Direct red card- minus 4 points
  • Yellow card and direct red card- minus 5 points

But, again, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility for Spain to pick up a booking in their last game with both scorelines finishing equal.

So then what?

A classic drawing of lots, sorted by the ‘FIFA Oragnising Committee’.

Cristiano Ronaldo versus Gerard Pique in a game of fives. Or would they go for rock, paper, scissors?

Either way, that’s a party we want to be invited to.