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Highlights: Isco, Santa Cruz push Málaga past Porto, but oh that red card

Malaga's Javier Pedro Saviola is challenged by Porto's Steven Defour during their Champions League soccer match at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga

Malaga’s Javier Pedro Saviola (R) is challenged by Porto’s Steven Defour during their Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga, southern Spain March 13, 2013. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)


For all the discussion of its effects, there’s little doubt Steven Defour deserved his second yellow card, a booking that came after one of his first half challenges could have seen straight red.

The foul comes near the 1:00 mark of the highlight package, above, and while Defour might have thought he was giving the impression of a player avoiding contact, replays show he was clearly trying to obstruct Joaquin. Under the circumstances, it was an inexcusable decision.

By then, the aggregate score was 1-1. It was only four minutes into the second half. The game was far from being settled, and already carrying a yellow card, Defour should have been on his best behavior. But given how reckless he’d been throughout the day, maybe that was Defour’s best behavior and the red card was only a matter of time.

Going down a man didn’t end Porto’s day. In fact, the next big chance fell to them, but Jackson Martínez -- the man who’s dominated the Portuguese league to the tune of 23 goals in 22 games -- attacks a set piece with his right foot instead of his left, putting the ball over the goal instead of in.

If that ball goes in, Málaga needs three goals to go through. Yes, it’s a big if, but it’s one that would have changed the discussion around Steven Defour’s terrible day.

Here are the highlights of Wednesday’s match, courtesy of FOX Soccer.