Two handballs, two penalties but only one sending off has left Australia's players seeing red and claiming injustice at the World Cup.
The Socceroos face Serbia in a decisive Group D match at Nelspruit on Wednesday without star striker Harry Kewell. He would have expected to line up directly against Manchester United center back Nemanja Vidic, but received a one-game ban by FIFA after a red card in the 1-1 draw with Ghana on Saturday.
What has incensed the Australians is the presence of Vidic in the game. A day earlier he conceded a penalty for a handball against Germany, when his arm was raised high in the box and a cross struck him on the hand. He received a yellow card, likely because there were no German forwards lurking behind him and he was not deemed to have prevented a clear goal scoring opportunity.
Kewell was struck on the arm by a fierce goal-bound shot but claimed he was trying to get out of the way. Australian forward Brett Holman said Kewell's intervention was an accident, while Vidic had put his hand up like a goalkeeper and stayed on the field.
" I haven't seen the Harry incident back on TV, only really quickly when it happened,"said Holman. "I was in the belief he kept his arm by his side, he didn't stick an arm out. It didn't look like he was being a goalie, like Vidic yesterday. He was going to grab it almost. I was definitely surprised by the call."
Craig Moore also made mention of Vidic's handball after claiming the Kewell incident was neither a penalty nor a red card.
"I'm not one for hard luck stories but we haven't had the run of the green on the big calls," says Moore. "You like to think they even themselves out but they haven't at this point in time. I didn't think it was a red card."