Many people were looking forward to tonight’s Spain v Portugal tie but the match was disappointing.

Spain were positive – Portugal were negative and the game failed to live up to expectations.

Spain had 61% of possession while Portugal had 39%.

Former FIFA World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo, contributed little since he was isolated up front as his team mates defended in depth.

Referee Hector Baldassi of Argentina, however, came out of the match with a lot of credit. It was an excellent appointment by FIFA since he had the feel for the match between the two Iberian neighbours.

He refused to be taken in by the diving and theatrics of the players of both teams. He did not get every call right but he awarded decisions from close range and was always in charge. The players respected him.

It was a top class performance from a referee who is highly experienced in the white hot atmosphere of Argentinian and South American football.

His further participation in the 2010 FIFA World Cup may be limited because of the progress of Argentina in the tournament but he can be well satisfied by what may be his last match.

When there is a big match, appoint a top official.

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