Global Soccer

Yellow Card Accumulation

At the World Cup, yellow card accumulation is critical to track. Picking up two yellow cards leads to a suspension. This can cripple a team. With most teams having played two games here is a look at who is suspended and what key players will have to be careful so as not to miss the round of sixteen in the knockout stage. Yellow cards will reset after the quarterfinal stage is completed.

Belgium’s Amadou Onana, Costa Rica’s Francisco Calvo, Ecuador’s Jhegson Sebastian Mendez, Iran’s Alireza Jahanbakhsh, and Saudi Arabia’s Abdulelah Al-Malki will all miss their final group-stage game. They have all accrued two yellow cards in their first two matches but will return if their team makes the round of sixteen. There are seventy-seven players on one yellow card heading into the third round of the group stage. This means that some key players will need to be careful to avoid a suspension.  

Group Winners Yellow Card Accumulation

Yellow cards accumulated during the group stage can lead to suspensions. With two cards a player must miss a match. Once the quarterfinals have passed all yellow cards will reset.
Photo Credit: AP

Looking at the potential group winners, there are some key squad members on one yellow card. This could have a big effect on the knockout rounds. The Netherlands and France each have one star, center-back Mathias De Ligt for the Dutch and Jules Kounde for the French who are currently on one yellow. While Poland is facing four yellows including one on key striker Arkadiusz Milik. Portugal currently leads group H the last group that will complete match number two. They are facing yellow cards on star attacking midfielder Bruno Fernades, and defender Danilo Pereira. Those would be very serious losses. 

Spain, Croatia, Brazil, and England have received no yellow cards so far. This discipline on the field has transferred to good results as they all lead their respective groups. 

Potential Advancers  

Looking at some other teams that should qualify Morrocan midfielder Sofyan Amrabat is on one yellow as is Argentine defender Gonzalo Montiel. However, Belgium and Japan could be in trouble with three yellow cards apiece. Belgium could lose midfield dynamo Yannick Carrasco having already lost Amadou Onana. Japan could lose two key defenders Ko Itakura and Miki Yamane. Any of those would be a significant loss. Looking at the US squad there are four players on one yellow including midfield star Weston Mckinnie and defender Sergino Dest. Losing these two players would be devastating to the US’s chances of making the quarterfinals. 

Every tournament is different but with most of the top sides competing at the World Cup not currently hampered by yellow card accumulation we should have sides at full strength heading into the knockout stages and beyond. But one rash challenge or poor decision and things could change quickly.

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