The soccer match between Portugal and its ex-colony Angola on the night of November 14th, supposed to be a friendly game to help Portugal prepare for its World Cup campaign, ended up being suspended 20 minutes from the end.
4 Angolan players were sent off, three for violent play and one for directing insulting comments at the referee, in a match easily won by Portugal by 5 goals to 1. Incredibly, after 68 minutes, an Angolan player abandoned the field, declaring that he had injured himself (there was nobody near him at the time), meaning that the referee had to call off the game because one side did not have a necessary quorum of 7 players for the game to continue.
The lack of sportsmanship demonstrated by the Angolan team was compounded by the spectators, who ripped up the seats in the stadium and launched a pitched battle outside against riot police, smashing bus stops, cars and shop windows before order was restored.
The game had started well, with a well-taken goal by Angolan forward Mendonca after just one minute. Portugal equalised through a penalty taken by Luis Figo after 25 minutes. By then, Angolan defender Asha had been sent off for violent play and two insulting comments before and after the penalty sent his colleague in defence, Wilson, back for an early shower, along with midfielder Franklim, sent off for violent play after 27 minutes..
Portugal added two more goals before the break through Nuno Gomes (36) and Jorge Andrade (39). After the interval, due to the African team’s lack of numbers, the football was all one-way.
Luis Boa Morte and Nuno Gomes scored two more goals after 48 and 62 minutes respectively, before another Angolan, this time Neto, another defender, was sent off, again for violent play.
The game was stopped after 68 minutes when one of the remaining Angolan players walked off the pitch, claiming that he was injured.
A sorry spectacle, a bad example for sport in general, and football in particular, and a total waste of money for those who worked hard to earn the money to buy their ticket. On top of this, the lamentable scenes of wanton vandalism and violence outside the stadium.
No wonder football is losing spectators.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON PORTUGAL