British commentators strongly criticized the referees of Tuesday's two games. Of the Mexico-Bulgaria game, which Bulgaria won on penalty kicks, the Daily Mail's Kier Radnedge wrote: "The World Cup refereeing crisis intensified as a Syrian official who was plainly out of his depth did his level best to ruin a dramatic evening in Giants Stadium."
In what he called "nightmarish refereeing," Radnedge said, "Jamal Al-Sharif manufactured two expulsions of nonsensical irrationality."
The Daily Mirror newspaper added: "The game was ruined by ludicrous refereeing from Syria's Jamal Al-Sharif, who showed two soft cards and earlier awarded Mexico a dubious penalty."
And from San Francisco, Michael Hart in the London Evening Standard asked: "Can someone explain to me why Italy's Gianfranco Zola was sent off against Nigeria by the Mexican referee Arturo Brizio?
"Can someone explain why 196 players have been cautioned here in 44 games, compared with 163 during the entire tournament in Italy in 1990 and 135 in Mexico in 1986?