Who are the three goalkeepers to have been sent off during the FIFA World Cup finals?

At the time of writing, Wales’ goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has recently made headlines by becoming the first player to be sent off at the 2022 World Cup. With four minutes of normal time remaining in Wales’ third and final Group B match, against Iran, Hennessey raced from his goal line to clear a long, over-the-top ball. However, he missed the ball completely as onrushing Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi toe-poked past him and succeeded only in catching his opponent in the face with an unsightly, ‘kung-fu’ style kick, which knocked him to the ground. Referee Mario Toca, from Guatemala, initially gave Hennessey a yellow card but, following a video assistant referee (VAR) review, swiftly overturned his decision and gave Hennessey a red card for serious foul play instead.

The goalkeeper with the dubious distinction of being the first of his kind to be dismissed during the FIFA World Cup finals was Gianluca Pagliuca, of Italy, who received his marching orders at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. In a not dissimilar circumstances to Hennessey, almost halfway through the first half of Italy’s second Group E match, against Norway, Pagliuca dashed out to tackle Norwegian midfielder Oyvind Leonhardsen. In so doing, he was adjudged to have handled the ball outside the penalty area and was given a straight red card by German referee Hellmut Krug.

The only other goalkeeper to be sent off during the FIFA World Cup finals was Itumeleng Khune, of South Africa. Of course, the Rainbow Nation played host to the 2010 World Cup and Khune found fame, for the wrong reasons, in their second Group A match, against Uruguay. With his side trailing 1-0, after 76 minutes Khune was adjudged to have brought down Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez inside the penalty area and was given a straight red card, ‘for denying the opposing team a clear goal-scoring opportunity’, by Swiss referee Massimo Busacca.

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