By Chris Wright
Wednesday evening’s Torneo Federal tie between Deportivo Roca and Cipolletti had to be scotched with a full 20+ minutes left to play when the whole thing just descended into complete and utter anarchy.
What began with a yellow card being shown for a fairly innocuous-looking foul quickly escalated into a whirlwind of riot police, pitch invasions, multi-man brawls and a further 11 – count ’em: eleven! – red cards being administered by the referee.
All the fun started when Cipolletti defender Marcos Lamolla was cautioned for a foul on Roca’s Fernando Fernandez, who then protested the decision only to be shown a second yellow card himself for dissent.
The pair then flared up and Lamolla was shown a second quick-fire yellow for his part in the scuffle that ensued, with all hell breaking loose from there…
Referee Facundo Espinosa told reporters after the game that he had sent off a further ten players following the dismissals of Fernandez and Lamolla, and that all the guilty parties had been listed in his official match report which had already been submitted to the powers that be.
“Both teams’ players were disgraceful, they didn’t behave like professionals,” griped Roca coach Diego Landeiro.
“It was a disgrace and it means lots of work down the drain. I’m very bitter.”