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Blog - The Toe Poke

 By Chris Wright

Four sent off as U16s game descends into mass brawl

However unlikely as it may seem, Wednesday night's under-16s Milk Cup encounter between Northern Ireland and Mexico descended into scenes of brutal anarchy, with a total of four players being sent-off for their respective parts in the violence on display which caused the game to be ended early.

As the Belfast Telegraph are reporting, the first outbreak of violence came in the 57th minute when a brawl flared up as Northern Ireland were preparing to take a corner kick.

Fists and feet went flying, both benches spilled out onto the pitch and several players found themselves floored before officials and stewards managed to diffuse the situation.

After the melee subsided, the referee then sent off three players: Northern Ireland's Robbie McDaid and Mexico pair Raul Gudino and Carlos Arreola, who can been seen in the footage aiming a vicious kick at a grounded opponent.

The game was then stopped again, this time permanently, in the 89th minute when Mexico's Kevin Gutierrez was shown the fourth red card of the evening for lashing out with his feet.

The referee then blew the final whistle without restarting the game, despite there still being one minute of normal time and, you'd assume, a healthy amount of injury time to be tacked on. For what it's worth, Northern Ireland won 2-1.