Update – Apparently, Mascherano had a reason for kicking the driver. He has issued an apology and an explanation for the weird circumstances that got him sent off from the match against Ecuador.
I feel ashamed. I don’t like to generate controversy. And I am big enough to admit my mistakes. This embarrasses me. Saddens me. The stretcher buggy was going too fast and I was about to fall. I warned him (the driver) and he ignored me, but what I did was not justified.
There was hardly anything to be proud of for Argentina in their 1-1 draw with Ecuador in the South American world cup qualifiers, but the lowest point had to be Javier Mascherano kicking the driver of the medical vehicle, getting himself sent off and probably headed for more than just one match of suspension.
Ecuador were the much better team in the match at Quito, with the draw not really telling the true story of the match, which was mostly the home side embarrassing Argentina again and again, but not finding the net past the 17th minute, with Messi playing in the final 30 minutes.
Still, it was Mascherano who stole the show. While being taken off the field by the medical staff, Mascherano wanted the driver to stop. It’s not clear whether he asked it from him and wasn’t heard, but the end result was Mascherano kicking the driver in the back, which was picked up by the linesman, which ended up with the referee showing him the red card.
Argentina remain on top of the South American group, with their qualification pretty much sewn up unless something incredible happens in the final three matches. They’ll probably have to make it through them without Mascherano.