Eight teams were still in the competition at the start of the quarter finals. The heroes and villains awards at this stage are as follows:
Barcelona's Rivaldo was the only one of the top strikers to add to his tally, much to the chagrin of the England supporters. In fact only five goals were scored in the four games, and one of those was Turkey's golden goal. The high scoring start to the competition has dried up as nerves start to tell and defences fight not to give anything away.
|Klose (Germany)||5||Pauleta (Portugal)||3|
|Ronaldo (Brazil)||5||Bouba Diop (Senegal)||3|
|Rivaldo (Brazil)||5||Henri Camara (Senegal)||3|
|Tomasson (Denmark)||4||Wilmots (Belgium)||3|
|Vieri (Italy)||4||Robbie Keane (Ireland)||3|
|Raúl (Spain)||3||Larsson (Sweden)||3|
Germany's Oliver Kahn is out on his own, having still only let in one goal in the five games he has played to date. His performance against the USA was instrumental in his side reaching the last four. Clean sheets too by Casillas (Spain), Lee (South Korea) and Rustu (Turkey).
Only one red card in the four games, for Brazil's Ronaldinho, and that was not really justified.
Controversial decisions again in a game involving South Korea, as Spain have two goals disallowed and several dubious offside decisions given against them by Egyptian referee Mr. El Ghandour and more crucially his linesmen, who were from Trinidad and Uganda respectively.
The president of the Spanish football federation Angel María Villar, who is also a vice-president of FIFA, resigned from the World Cup refereeing committee in protest after failing to convince them to replace the officials with a more experienced team before the game.
Villar also objected to the fact that the Spanish referee López Nieto had been sent home after showing no less than 16 yellows and 2 reds in the match between Germany and Cameroon, when far less experienced referees continued in the competition (actually you can't blame them for that!).
One top official did make a big mistake in another of the quarter final games though, Scotland's Hugh Dallas failing to see a clear hand ball by Germany's Frings which deprived the USA of an equalising goal, and there was also some question as to whether Brazil's Ronaldinho really merited a sending off by Mexican referee Ramos Rizo for his tackle on England's Mills.
Even FIFA president Sepp Blatter has criticised the referees this time (curious as he is the man in charge), and there is an outcry to change the system and probably bring in new technology to prevent the game being spoilt by semi-amateur arbiters who are prone to outside influence and are out of their depths on such a big stage.