German referee Felix Brych had one of the easiest decisions of his career to make last night when he showed Croatian defender Joe Šimunić a red card after he brutally fouled Serbian Miralem Sulejmani during last night’s 1-1 all draw in Belgrade.
Australian-born Šimunić, nicknamed ‘Crazy Joe’, took out the Serbian forward which has been described by some scribes as the worst challenge seen at that stadium – ever. Šimunić, however says if he need be he would do it all again.
“I would do it again. The red card was clear. Sulejmani is a nice guy and I apologised to him, but tomorrow I would do it again if I had to,” said Šimunić after the match. Šimunić was backed up by coach Igor Štimac who said that the experienced defender did what he had to do. Sulejmani, who had beaten last-man Šimunić, was still over 60 metres away from Croatia’s goal.
Šimunić, who was the target of fans throwing chairs at him as he walked down the tunnel after being sent off, still had time for a joke. “Even if they got me (with the chairs), nothing would have happened, this head is a Bosnian head,” laughed Šimunić.
Mario Mandžukić’s goal against the run of play before Serbia’s equalizer from a free kick means that Croatia has virtually sealed 2nd spot Group A and a likely play-off match to get to Brazil in 2014.