Watching the first half in the stands yesterday in Munich, I really felt that the referee, Horacio Elizondo of Argentina, was a significant part of the action. His style of refereeing, best described as loose lips -- allowing moderate fouls to go -- enabled the Germans to be more physical and ultimately take control of the game.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who saw that the refereeing thus far has allowed some physical play:
"The refs need to clean things up a bit," he instant messages me from Boston, explaining the England-Paraguay match. "It was more like rugby, really hard fouls.
"Perhaps it's just the South American style of play."
"Anyways, England won like they should have. They were the better team.
And as I type this, Trinidad and Tobago becomes the first team to have a player sent off as Shamsul Maidin of SIN (which I assume is Singapour) shows the red card to Avery John, who earned a second yellow with a nasty tackle.
That said, anyone who wants to weigh on this can IM me at "joeyscribe" on AIM.