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Dirty Tackle

Javier Mascherano shown red card for kicking medical cart driver

Dirty Tackle

Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano earned one of the more bizarre red cards you'll see when he kicked the driver of the injury cart that was transporting him off the pitch during his side's World Cup qualifier in Ecuador. The incident happened in the 87th minute with the score at 1-1 after two goals were scored early in the first half. Mascherano was laying on a stretcher in the back of the cart as it headed towards the tunnel. It's unclear what upset the Barcelona player, but he lashed out and kicked the driver twice before getting out of the cart. Apparently the effects of his injury disappeared once the anger took hold.

The referee then showed him a straight red card, which shocked the notoriously short-tempered Mascherano. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

UPDATE: Mascherano has explained himself and apologized. From ESPN:

Reflecting on the incident, Mascherano said: "I feel ashamed. You must always be against violence. The truth is I made a mistake. It is not nice that you get sent off in such a way, and generate such a controversy."

Asked why he reacted as he did, Mascherano said: "The cart was going too quickly, I was moving around and thought I might fall. We told the medic to go slower, he ignored me and I reacted. But, I repeat, it was not justified."

So, in other words, Mascherano decided to kick the driver in lieu of an emergency of brake. Flawless logic.

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