On this day in 2006, Graham Poll showed three yellow cards to Josip Simunic at World Cup

Group F Croatia v Australia - World Cup 2006

Today marks 13 years since Australia booked their place in the World Cup Round of 16 for the first and only time in their history.

The Socceroos drew 2-2 with Croatia in Stuttgart to finish second in Group F, five points off Brazil who topped the pile.

However, they had to come from behind twice after Darijo Srna and Niko Kovac scored for Croatia either side of a 38th minute Craig Moore penalty.

With Zlatko Kranjcar’s side nearing qualification, Harry Kewell was on hand to seal the point for Australia, ultimately gifting his side progression to the next round.

Dario Simic was also sent off for Croatia with five minutes to go before Brett Emerton received his marching orders for the Socceroos too.

However, the drama didn’t stop there as a third red card was dished out in stoppage time in what proved to be one of the biggest fails in World Cup history.

Josip Simunic of Croatia was shown a red card after receiving his third yellow of the game.

That’s right, referee Graham Poll failed to send him back to the changing rooms after showing him a second yellow four minutes before.

Group F Croatia v Australia - World Cup 2006

Simunic was first booked for bringing down Kewell just outside the box on 61 minutes.

Poll then dished out a second yellow for another foul on the centre circle just before stoppage time but incredibly didn’t send him off.


Justice finally prevailed though as he was eventually given his marching orders for dissent in the 93rd minute.


Poll then said after the game, via ESPN: "In the 89th minute, when I produced the yellow, I wrote down the right jersey number but the wrong name. I had inadvertently given the yellow to the Australian number three, Craig Moore.

Group F Croatia v Australia - World Cup 2006

“This is the first time something like this has happened to me in my 26-year-long career."

Poll then faced the axe as he joined the list of referees who were sent home from the World Cup and hasn’t refereed in the tournament since.

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