Thursday, 15 November 2018

UEFA Nations League 2018/19 - Referee Appointments MD5 (15 November 2018)

Referee appointments for 2018-19 UEFA Nations League Matchday 5, games to be played on 15/11.  Thank to @h_demboveac on Twitter.

League A - Group 2
15 November 2018, 20:45 CET - Brussels (Koning Boudewijnstadion)
Referee: Orel Grinfeld (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roi Hassan (ISR)
Fourth Official: Idan Yarkoni (ISR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Eitan Shmuelevitz (ISR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ziv Adler (ISR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Manuel Díaz Vega (ESP)
UEFA Delegate: Paolo Rondelli (SMR)

League A - Group 4
15 November 2018, 20:45 CET - Zagreb (Stadion Maksimir)
Referee: Aliaksiej Kuĺbakoŭ (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dzmitryj Žuk (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Alieh Maslianka (BLR)
Fourth Official: Juryj Chomčanka (BLR)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Dzianis Ščarbakoŭ (BLR)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Dzmitryj Dzmitryjeŭ (BLR)
UEFA Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)
UEFA Delegate: Thibault De Gendt (BEL)

League B - Group 3
15 November 2018, 20:45 CET - Vienna (Ernst-Happel-Stadion)
Referee: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: David McGeachie (SCO)
Fourth Official: Sean Carr (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Euan Anderson (SCO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Kýros Vassáras (GRE)
UEFA Delegate: Geir Þorsteinsson (ISL)

League C - Group 2
15 November 2018, 20:45 CET - Athens (Olympiakó Athlitikó Kéntro Athinón "Spýros Loúis")
Referee: Luca Banti (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Alberto Tegoni (ITA)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Lo Cicero (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Michael Fabbri (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Patrițiu Abrudan (ROU)
UEFA Delegate: Siarhiej Iĺič (BLR)

League C - Group 2
15 November 2018, 20:45 CET - Budapest (Groupama Aréna)
Referee: Enea Jorgji (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Ridiger Çokaj (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Ermal Barushi (ALB)
Fourth Official: Rejdi Avdo (ALB)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Eldorjan Hamiti (ALB)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Kridens Meta (ALB)
UEFA Referee Observer: Christer Fällström (SWE)
UEFA Delegate: Jan Damgaard (DEN)

League D - Group 1
15 November 2018, 16:00 CET - Astana (Astana Arena)
Referee: Jens Grabski Maae (DEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Lars Hummelgaard (DEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Heine Sørensen (DEN)
Fourth Official: Jesper Dahl (DEN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Jørgen Daugbjerg Burchardt (DEN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Morten Krogh (DEN)
UEFA Referee Observer: Ferenc Székely (HUN)
UEFA Delegate: Ciprian Paraschiv (ROU)

League D - Group 1
15 November 2018, 20:45 CET - Andorra la Vella (Estadi Nacional)
Referee: Radu Marian Petrescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Radu Adrian Ștefan Ghinguleac (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Mircea Mihail Grigoriu (ROU)
Fourth Official: Vladimir Urzică (ROU)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Sebastian Constantin Colțescu (ROU)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Marcel Bîrsan (ROU)
UEFA Referee Observer: Paulius Malžinskas (LTU)
UEFA Delegate: Desislava Ralkova (BUL)

League D - Group 2
15 November 2018, 20:45 CET - Serravalle (San Marino Stadium)
Referee: Geórgios Komínis (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Chrysoúla Kourompýlia (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Chasán Koúla (GRE)
Fourth Official: Chrístos Baltás (GRE)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Ioánnis Papadópoulos (GRE)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Emmanouíl Skoulás (GRE)
UEFA Referee Observer: Pascal Garibian (FRA)
UEFA Delegate: Björn Fecker (GER)

League D - Group 2
15 November 2018, 20:45 CET - Luxembourg (Stade Josy Barthel)
Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Rob van de Ven (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Davie Goossens (NED)
Fourth Official: Bas van Dongen (NED)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Siemen Mulder (NED)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Allard Lindhout (NED)
UEFA Referee Observer: Niklas á Líðarenda (FRO)
UEFA Delegate: Charles John Grundie (NIR)


  1. Every appointment (besides Banti) is sth quite interesting IMO.

    * Orel Grinfeld gets another top clash, AAR1 Shmuelevitz is retained in the team after missing a penalty in his vicinity in Madrid.

    * VERY top clash for Aliaksiej Kuĺbakoŭ, surely in case of good performances he is certain to be first (?) Belorussian UEFA Elite referee.

    * UEFA really like Andrew Dallas (please, don't mention his father, it is unfair on Dallas Jr), IIRC the first Second Category to be assigned a match in League B, and it is no dead rubber.
    It seems U19 Italy - Norway changed everything for the Scottish, observed by De Bleeckere and Vassáras in his matches since.

    * Enea Jorgji appointed again by UEFA. To be honest, I was really disappointed by the Albanian in his EL match (8,0), let's hope he can be better this time.

    * If we consider Dallas in Vienna, Maae can be slightly disappointed with this dead match, especially after a good performance in Greece. Still, a positive signal in some ways.

    * Petrescu is making a recovery, good to see after his operation.

    * UEFA try another Greek referee, Komínis, who should know what a hard match is (PAOK-AEK last season...). Probably Moldova win easily, but still, a match away team MUST win, so not necessarily easy.
    Would be interested for our Greek readers thoughts on him?

    * Really important, if low-profile, match for Gözübüyük after what happened in Frankfurt. He needs to be on top form for this match, it could decide EURO qualification, good luck to the Dutch.

    1. Fully agree with your excellent analysis, Mikael :)
      The focus is on Dallas, if you ask me. That's the most relevant assignment in this set. We will see...

    2. Indeed, in all three league A and B matches, Elite referees were more expected, because they are more or less deciding and even on MD1/2, we only had Elite referees in those leagues.

      Kulbakov should be nearly certain for promotion, although sending another important observer maybe shows some remaining doubts. Probably he will get another important CL match as well, e.g. Napoli-Belgrade.

    3. Vassaras observing Dallas is a huge thing for the Scottish man.
      About Kominis, media in Greece are obsessed about him after the controvesial offside at derby between PAOK and AEK which cost PAOK the title. His performance was excellent but the offside call ( imo wrong one, but really difficult one) caused massive protests on the field with PAOK's president entering the field with a gun. The greek referee commitee standed strongly by his side and supported Kominis really firm with good appointments this year. His performances untill now are at expected level only with one complaint from ARIS THESSALONIKI for a penalty not given against PANIONIOS.

    4. I always believed thar Greece had 3 very good candidates for UEFA 1st Group and even Elite.

      Kalogeropoulos, Kominis and Papapetrou. But the first one was removed from both the SL and FIFA lists (without any apparent reason) and the 2nd one was in big danger for several months after PAOK asked for his removal.

      For Kominis it's his 1st international appointment since the start of the season. It' good to see that UEFA is giving him a chance to prove himself despite the media hysteria here in Greece.

    5. Kulbakov will be a second top-level Belorussian referee. A first was Vadim Zhuk in early 90's.
      BTW, he's a father of Kulbakov's AR1

    6. @mikael w
      In some stage of his carer Dallas Jr will have the shadow of his father, we all know that.
      Kulbakov for sure very soon will be in Elite.
      As for Jorgji, (8.0) is your mark or Trentalange mark who was obsserver in that EL match?

    7. Hi Adrien

      I agree about A. Dallas, but I think it's unfair to dismiss his progress as nepotism by H. Dallas; the former is a very good referee. I think he may get his first 'Old Firm' match this season, would be an important step in his development.

      We agree about the Belorussian.

      My mark is not any official mark from Mr Trentalange, but just my own observations having watched the full game. Albanian never met the requirements of the match, and really disappointed me. I think he deserves another shot, but in case of another bad performance, I think committee can forget his name, said with all respect of course.

    8. Hi again Mikael ☺
      Totally agree about Dallas but as i told before, soon or later the name of his father will be behind him some days ( unfair like you said)
      About Jorgji. I was in a tournament with Albanians Referee and as i know the official mark was 8.3. Not bad like a debut in my opinion.

    9. Many thanks Adrien, that is a very interesting info!

      8,3 is a pretty good debut for sure, and in that case I think UEFA considers Jorgji on a high level for another EL match in the fifth / sixth round.

      Still, I would be lying to say the Albanian convinced me, but I hope that he progresses in a good way and he has my best wishes.

  2. OT: If someone needs a match to watch (in the next 3 days without major competitions), I can recommend Dortmund-Bayern from Saturday. Very entertaining match including a (nearly - you can discuss some card selections...) excellent referee performance by Manuel Gräfe and his assistants, who has been praised in media for contributing to the match's high level.

  3. OT: Papapetrou has refereed a match in Switzerland yesterday. In October, Papadopoulos did the same. So it seems to be a real exchange with Greece in that case, not only sending foreign referees to the Greek league.

  4. OT: It was posted before that Swiss referee Adrien Jaccottet was appointed to Greek derby Olympiacos-Panathinaikos.

    Well, apparently this was a kind of "swap" because Greek trio Papapetrou-Kouroumpylia-Petropoulos handled this weekend Zürich-Sion of Swiss Super League.

  5. Promotions to Elite Category.
    I think we can expect Kulbakov, Kružliak and then? Other names?
    What about Buquet? It seems on recent times his performance were not so good as they were a few time ago. In any case, let me say, with these names already contending a spot in Elite, a promotion for somebody should have already followed in past months... don't know if you agree.

    1. I don’t know whether Buquet is a priority for the Committee, in view of his age (he will turn 42 in January) and recent performances, especially in EL. However, he would deserve it for his career and he keeps a high standard in Ligue 1.

      Almost certain for Kulbakov, Thursday’s match should be a confirmation. I believe, if one second place is available, it will be for Kruzliak or Del Cerro Grande.

      By the way, do we know the referees who are leaving for sure ? Undiano Mallenco ?

    2. Undiano Mallenco will stay as Elite until June 2019.
      At moment, nobody among the current Elite, is expected to leave the list for retirement on December.
      But there are some referees in danger for a possible demotion...

    3. Kulbakov, Vincic, Kruzliak, Del Cero Grande to elite IMO

    4. Between Kruzliak and Vincic, the Slovenian had the better matches in CL and NL this season. So I would see him as favourite, if a place has to be decided between them.
      I agree about Kulbakov being the number 1 candidate atm.
      Buquet had good matches in CL and NL, therefore I would put him on 4th place on my list.

      I think, 1 CL group stage is not enough for promotion, therefore I would exclude del Cerro Grande (and Grinfeld and Treimanis) - but UEFA might have other ideas..

      The next Nations League appointments could tell more. Maybe there are more First Group referees in League A.

    5. And the future Elite, Massa (june 2019 ? when Rocchi retire ? ) Guida (december 2019 or june 2020 ?), Siebert (june or december 2019 ?)

    6. Well, I know Rosetti is now the chief and he already showed that he is different from Collina, but.... In last few years, promotions in December were very rare, so I would not be surprised if we see no changes in December.

    7. In my opinion, Kulbakou, Kruzliak and Vincic should be promoted. That would also be nice, because than finally there will be a serious group of referees from Eastern Europe (Central Europa, if you want) to joing the ELITE group. Usually, it's mostly referees from the big 4 countries.

      IMO, Buquet doesn't need to be promoted. He is too old and I don't like his performances too much.

  6. For promotion to First Group the candidates should be:
    Clancy, Dabanovic, Dallas, Guida, Jorgji, Kristoffersen, Letexier, Martinez Munuera, Nilsen, Reinshreiber

    I think, Dabanovic and Dallas are the most likely to be promoted.

    1. I agree with you, especially for Dabanovic, he deserve that promotion.

  7. It is very difficult, but I try to make some predictions for CL MD5.
    We must specify that Rocchi and Makkelie have to appear on this MD because they will be out on MD6 (Club World Cup).

    Atlético Madrid - Monaco
    Pavel Královec (CZE)

    Borussia Dortmund - Club Brugge
    Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)

    Tottenham - Inter
    Felix Brych (GER)

    PSV - Barcelona
    Ruddy Buquet (FRA)

    Napoli - Crvena Zvezda
    Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)

    PSG - Liverpool
    Ovidiu Hațegan (ROU)

    Lokomotiv Moskva - Galatasaray
    Gediminas Mažeika (LTU)

    Porto - Schalke 04
    Damir Skomina (SVN)

    AEK - Ajax
    Szymon Marciniak (POL)

    Bayern - Benfica
    William Collum (SCO)

    O. Lyonnais - Manchester City
    Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)

    Hoffenheim - Shakhtar Donetsk
    Artur Dias (POR)

    CSKA Moscow - Viktoria Plzen
    Slavko Vinčić (SVN)

    Roma - Real Madrid
    Anthony Taylor (ENG)

    Juventus - Valencia
    Danny Makkelie (NED)

    Manchester United - Young Boys
    Georgi Kabakov (BUL)

    Very particular the situation of Rocchi. He can't handle any game in almost all groups, due to previous appearances or Italian teams. The only forced option seems to be Lyon - City, first leg on MD1 was handled by Orsato, but there aren't other assignments possible. He should only appear in Europa League...

    1. The only doubt is about Shakhtar Donetsk, I don't know whether Italian referees are still not allowed to handle Ukranian teams, otherwise Rocchi could officiate this game as well at Hoffenheim home.

    2. Yes, I came to the same conclusion regarding Rocchi. But maybe it's good for him to have a break (or only EL) before the CWC.
      And I have some more accordances in my predictions (made earlier) - some things really seem "forced" ;)

      Atlético Madrid - Monaco: Slavko Vincic (SVN)
      Borussia Dortmund - Club Brugge: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)
      Tottenham - Inter: Cüneyt Cakir (TUR)
      PSV - Barcelona: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
      Napoli - Crvena Zvezda: Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
      PSG - Liverpool: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
      Lokomotiv Moskva - Galatasaray: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)
      Porto - Schalke 04: Danny Makkelie (NED)
      AEK - Ajax: Michael Oliver (ENG)
      Bayern - Benfica: Clement Turpin or Benoit Bastien, if Turpin is still injured (FRA)
      O. Lyonnais - Manchester City: Jesus Gil Manzano (ESP)
      Hoffenheim - Shakhtar Donetsk: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
      CSKA Moscow - Viktoria Plzen: Matej Jug (SVN)
      Roma - Real Madrid: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
      Juventus - Valencia: William Collum (SCO)
      Manchester United - Young Boys: Ivan Kruzliak (SVK)

    3. Is it possilbe that Hategan will get 4 UCL matches in row ?

    4. Indeed, Hategan whistled in MD2, MD3 and MD4. A game in MD5 would be a record. Anyway, I think it's better to keep away Hategan from british team (esspecially in decisive games) because only 12 months passed from NIR- SWI.

    5. I don't think that matters a lot in England, do you?

  8. 15/11

    REF: Vitaliy Romanov (UKR)
    AR1: Viktor Matyash (UKR)
    AR2: Oleksandr Zhukov (UKR)

  9. Opinions on this situations would be greatly appreciated. White #12 is in an offside position when the ball is played. Thanks

    1. No offside. The defender plays the ball in a clearly deliberate way.

    2. The flag should stay down, a goal is regular.School example of the deliberate play, IMO.

      But, cooperation between Ref and AR is crucual here even though this is black and white situation.

      Referee's responsability is same as Assistant's

    3. Absolutely offside. The ball only made contact with the arm in a natural position and that was obviously not deliberate. Offside clearly.

    4. To clarify, according to the referee, the ball never hit the defender's leg, only the arm after the miss. Is this handling? Or is it even deliberate play?

    5. It wasn't deliberate handling in any way and therefore not a deliberate play. Easy offside.

    6. A (partially) missed intervention is still a deliberate play. Offside.

    7. Not if it hits the part of yourr body that didn’t hace intention to hit it. You think this was deliberate handling?

    8. Handling is not important here.
      Deliberate play because missed intervention is still deliberate act of the player.

      The defender have all the time of the world to intervene. The ball is clearly expected.

      This can not be offside.

    9. What are you talking about??? It only hit the arm. The laws of the game says the ball has to be ”deliberately played”. Therefore you must think the handball was deliberate which it was absolutely not, therefore offside.

    10. Ask some FIFA referee and you'll understand what I'm talking about.
      Less arogance, more tolerance and you'll reach their level
      (I followed your refereeing path, keep on ;) )

      PS No, I dont think that handball is deliberate.

    11. And yes, attacker in offside position doesn't interfere attacker.

    12. CONCACAF FIFA referees and coaches are currently watching this video and discussing it. I will get back to you when I hear a definite conclusion from them.

    13. DrMR what arrogance are tiu reffering to

    14. And how do you follow my ”path”? I think you have mixed me with someone

    15. My opinion is that if the defender didn't touch the ball by leg, but he only tried to do that, and he then touched it only with arm, it can't be a deliberate play, because you can't play ball with hands. So, in case of "deliberate handball" assessment, referee could have whistled foul to attacking team, otherwise, if in his opinion not a deliberate handball, and not a previous touch by leg, then OFFSIDE.
      NO OFFSIDE in my opinion only in case defender touched the ball with his leg, this is not clear from the video and this is the only important thing to know, in my opinion.

    16. I agree. Only touched on arm and it wasn’t deliberate so therefore it isn’t deliberate play. Offside.

  10. Friendly
    Italy - USA
    Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
    Assistant referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
    Assistant referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
    4th Official: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)
    Video Assistant Referee: Halis Özkahya (TUR)
    Additional Video Assistant Referee: Barış Şimşek (TUR)

    Post about friendlies will follow soon.

    1. Strange that Cuneyt gets a meaningless friendly and not a critical A league match.

    2. Maybe he is planned for a very important game in CL on MD5 and therefore committee doesn't want to give a crucial assignment in Nations League.

    3. It seems it will be 1st VAR experiment made by UEFA. That's why it was chosen Cakir.

    4. There have been several friendlies with VAR already in Europe. Or do you mean something else?

    5. Indeed there have been already many friendlies played with VAR. Maybe this is the first UEFA test in the meaning that there will be a committee member observing the game and the instruments used will be the official ones for UEFA competitions? One can discuss about the appointment as well, with a single Additional VAR, in addition to main VAR.
      As this game will involve Italy, for sure I will know more on next days and I will report the details.

    6. Among others, Kuipers did Italy-Spain with Makkelie as VAR if I remember correctly.

  11. OT: Highlights from La Liga.

    -2nd YC, referee Cuadra Fernández.

    -PK after VAR review + 2nd YC, referee De Burgos Bengoetxea, VAR Estrada Fernández.

    -Foul before the goal? No VAR intervention. Referee Sánchez Martínez.

    -A penalty situation and a 2nd YC. Referee Mateu Lahoz.

    -PK situation, referee Undiano Mallenco.

  12. Tonight I will be in Zagreb for Croatia- Spain. I hope Kulbakov will do a good job in front of a special observer... :) :) :)

  13. OT:
    Group L
    8 November 2018, 18:55 CET - Budapest (Groupama Aréna)
    MOL Vidi FC (HUN) - PAOK FC (GRE) 1:0 (0:0)
    Referee: Ali Palabıyık (TUR)
    Assistant Referee 1: Ceyhun Sesigüzel (TUR)
    Assistant Referee 2: Serkan Olguncan (TUR)
    Fourth Official: İbrahim Çağlar Uyarcan (TUR)
    Additional Assistant Referee 1: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)
    Additional Assistant Referee 2: Yaşar Kemal Uğurlu (TUR)
    UEFA Referee Observer: Thomas Einwaller (AUT)
    UEFA Delegate: Jan Willem van Dop (NED)

    If you allow for me i will post a report about the Turkish team in Hungary. I was live in stadium, i had now time to rewatch the game. It was a normal game, with a nothing special for the young referee. What i can say during the 90 minutes his advantages was absolutely amazing. Before 1:0 the opportunity started with and advantage and later a a correcct rejected penalty appeal. Excellent management.
    31’ Unfortunatley after a long free kick for Vidi, Palabiyik and AAR2, missed a clear penalty. PAOK defender didnt allow for Vidi attacker moving with his hands stopped it in the penalty area. Palabiyik’s view was perfect for the situation. In the studio Sándor Puhl ( who had been 4 times the best referee of the year in the World ), said it is a crucial mistake by Palabiyik.
    Other negative point the team work with AR2, he missed some foul in his own area and missed 2 clear throw in, after the second situation Palabiyik changed the side. Altogether need to say that Palabyik sometimes didnt know what need to do, he wait more times 8-10 seconds before whislted a CLEAR foul. His foul line is very challenging and sometimes inexplicable for me.

    Altogether Palabiyik showed a good performance, IMO later he has chance to be promotion. All the best for the future.

  14. OT: U19 Euro Qualifiers.

    Group 1:
    -Teams: Georgia (host), Azerbaijan, Israel, Liechtenstein.
    -Referees: Lionel Tschudi (SUI), Donatas Rumšas (LTU), Erik Lambrechts (BEL); reserve referee Aleko Aptsiauri (GEO).

    Group 3:
    -Teams: Czech Republic (host), Croatia, Macedonia, Luxembourg.
    -Referees: Kirill Levnikov (RUS), Nicolas Laforge (BEL), Timothéos Christofí (CYP); reserve referee Ondrej Pechanec (CZE)

    Group 4:
    -Teams: Wales (host), Sweden, Scotland, San Marino.
    -Referees: Juri Frischer (EST), Dimitri Muntean (MDA), Alexandr Aliyev (KAZ); reserve referee Tom Owen (WAL).

    Group 5:
    -Teams: Turkey (host), England, Iceland, Moldova
    -Referees: Glenn Nyberg (SWE), Fabio Verissimo (POR), Mario Zebec (CRO); reserve referee Arda Kardeşler (TUR).

    Group 6:
    -Teams: Malta (host), France, Belgium, Lithuania.
    Referees: Ali Palabiyik (TUR), Duje Strukan (CRO), Zaven Hovhannisyan (ARM); reserve referee Ishmael Barbara (MLT).

    Group 9:
    -Teams: Northern Ireland (host), Poland, Serbia, Kazakhstan.
    -Referees: Irfan Peljto (BIH), Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT), Michal Ocenáš (SVK); reserve referee Jamie Robinson (NIR)

    Group 11:
    -Teams: Cyprus (host), Russia, Montenegro, Latvia.
    -Referees: Ola Hobber Nilsen (NOR), Petri Viljanen (FIN), Cătălin Gaman (ROU); reserve referee Chrysovalantis Theouli (CYP)

    Group 13:
    -Teams: Bulgaria (host), Greece, Romania, Gibraltar.
    -Referees: Dennis Higler (NED), Fedayi San (SUI), Keith Kennedy (NIR); reserve referee Stanimir Trenchev (BUL)

  15. I've watched Jens Grabski Maae in Kazakhstan - Denmark (from 20' though). Good, expected level in a very easy game. Clear line, wide diagonal way of movement, always close to action, very fit, modern kind of referee - I understand why he has been promoted to Second Group. Very good offside calls by Heine Sørensen, including disallowed Latvia goal in 72'. Well done!

  16. AR1 in Croatia - Spain made a quite blatant mistake in 17', calling a wrong offside. A defender had saved the ball before a possible shot on goal, but for sure it could have been crucial.
    Kulbakov with the classic "lenient" approach, maybe in a few minutes he will be forced to show the first card of the game... he allowed a very physical play.

  17. Expected level 1H from Serdar Gözübüyük in Luxembourg City.
    Game starting to get a bit hotter since Belarus scored for 0-1, Dutchman needs to find the right moment to open the cards.

    So far, so good.

  18. From today U21 friendly Italy - England:
    Both FO and AR1 should have informed the referee, this is not acceptable...

  19. Spot on PK call from Kulbakov! :D

    1. Interesting reaction by Croatian player who said to referee something like: "Where to put my arms?", making also some gestures. He had all the needed time to remove his arm and to avoid the contact, it was an expected ball. Referee's decision was correct. I appreciated how Kulbakov approached the player.
      Now a reaonable decision to play on, following a penalty appeal by Croatia. Then, a confrontation started and two players were booked.

  20. Despite of a correct crucial decision, in my opinion Kulbakov has some points for improvement. For a better control of the game, he should definitely whistle certain fouls that could give clear signals to players. However, not big issues this evening, I think mark can be 8.3.
    AR1 mistake in first half was quite blatant. To be checked whether 3-2 in the last minute was ONSIDE, replay was not clear. In that case, AR1 would have made better his performance.
    Also, if I'm not wrong, another point for improvement for Kulbakov, he whistled the end without recovering the time when Croatia scored.

  21. And now England - Croatia will be a direct play-off for first place, big game for Sidiropoulos.

  22. The match of Sidiropoulos is now very important, also Orsato's one is decisive. On the other hand, nothing to play for in Lardot's match.

  23. Good performance by Banti on an easy-going match. No cautions (even though he should have issued one), very little fouls. Nothing extraordinary to report.

    1. Wasn't there one for FIN's Granlund immediately after half-time?

  24. As expected, Gözübüyük faced a more challenging 2H.

    => Gözübüyük issued six cautions, starting with one for UB at 48'. Correct decision, but referee and AR1 van de Ven missed the freekick to LUX that caused such behaviour, and then referee showed it initially to the wrong player. Not the best impression to open the cards. Other five YCs were fully correct, disciplinary control was good.

    => Match really started to 'boil over', and Gözübüyük showed a good management in order to diffuse some situations that could have lost him the control. He was always in to diffuse conflicts; with a less proactive referee, we could have had even many mass confrontations. Eg together with AAR2 Lindhout at 77', smart freekick whistled at +92' followed by good prevention.

    => Again, we saw quite a lot of arrogant gestures from Gözübüyük. I am not totally against such gestures, but here they were really unnecessary. A good example is a totally 'un-called-for', "Get up!" shout to a fouled player at 61'.
    One should ask the question- what are the targets behind these gestures, are these targets likely to be executed with such gestures?

    => This leads me on to a more general point, is that I think quite a lot of the tension in this match could have been avoided. Referee actually managed to piss off both sets of players where it was quite evitable, not by his decisions but by his soft management. One does not referee to make friends, but Gözübüyük needs to 'pick his enemies' a bit better for my taste.

    So generally a good job by the Dutchman, but I still have some doubts about him.
    I will be interested to see where UEFA find him in the final two rounds of the club competition group stage upcoming.

  25. Coming back to prediction for promotion at the end of year dp you see space for Mazeika and Madden to raise up into Elite ?

  26. Unimpressed with Kuĺbakoŭ. Lots of missed fouls, lenient disciplinary control, loss of control in the scene involving Busquets in the end.

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