Spain point to crucial decisions
By Alex Livie. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
SPANISH coach Jose Camacho and his beaten keeper Iker Casillas pointed to a couple of dubious refereeing decisions as the pivotal moments in their epic World Cup defeat at the hands of co-hosts South Korea.
The Spaniards slipped to defeat on penalties but had two goals controversially disallowed during the course of the match.
Ivan Helguera had an effort ruled out for an innocuous-looking foul, while an arguably worse judgement was the linesman`s decision to chalk off Fernando Morientes` extra-time header.
The Real Madrid man headed home Joaquin`s deft cross, but the celebrations were cut short by the linesman who claimed the ball had gone out of play.
Spain eventually slipped to defeat, 5-3 on penalties, after Joaquin saw his effort saved by Lee Woon-jae and Hong Myung-bo stepped up to stroke home the crucial fifth.
An irate Helguera had to be restrained after the game, while Camacho was also angry with the officials.
Camacho said: "I thought the referee would be fairer in a quarter final match like this.
"We fought to the end and worked so hard but we went out because South Korea were luckier than us. I am just sorry we couldn't go any further."
Camacho did, though, praise his defeated charges, saying: "All I can do is congratulate my players."
Casillas, who kept a clean sheet through 120 minutes but was beaten by five penalties, implied that Spain were the victims of bias.
He added: "We'd already seen this when South Korea played against the United States, Portugal and Italy.
"Penalties are a lottery. We won last week and today we lost.
"We've been sent home without losing a match.
"Now we must wait another four years for Germany 2006."