Larrionda's performance drew especially harsh criticism from commentators and analysts on ABC and the BBC, who cited the inconsistency of foul calls between the earlier and later portions of the match. ABC's Marcelo Balboa and Eric Wynalda and the BBC's Chris Waddle characterized his ejection of Mastroeni as a "make-up" or "even-up" call for the earlier red shown to Italy, with Alexi Lalas questioning the need for a make-up call, adding "did not elbow directly in the face?" Waddle also said the officials were "rubbish" and incapable of officiating the tournament. Another BBC report, however, claimed that he was "left with little option" other than sending Mastroeni off.
Articles published after the match were not in agreement over the quality of Larrionda's calls. Opinions in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chicago Sun-Times and Bangkok Post challenged the referee; The Times and The Sunday Telegraph of London, Germany's Der Spiegel, and America's Sports Illustrated supported his decisions.
The Associated Press reported on the following day that FIFA communications director Markus Siegler said the red card issued to De Rossi, which drew blood, was appropriate. Siegler was not quoted on the other ejections in the match, but he said that generally, FIFA was pleased with the quality of officiating in the tournament.
Two days after the match, Wynalda said he had rushed to judgement in his complaint about Larrionda's ejection of Mastroeni, noting that the tackle was reckless.
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