It takes a lot to get sent off in a friendly just days before the start of a major tournament, but Portugal defender Bruno Alves most certainly checked the appropriate boxes.
Just past the half-hour mark in the friendly between Portugal and England at Wembley, the Fenerbahce man was given a straight red card for his cringe-worthy challenge on a 50/50 ball with Harry Kane. With the ball bouncing straight up in the air about eye height, Alves came flying in with his studs showing, missing the ball but connecting with Kane’s face.
Thankfully, Kane saw it coming at the last second and ducked out of the way just enough to avoid the brunt of the studs, but with the clearly dangerous play, referee Marco Guido had no choice but to send Alves off.
Credit to Kane for his reaction, looking to play on rather than make the most of the situation. Credit to the referee as well, who as in perfect position to spot the dangerous play without the help of Kane. It’s quite lucky that Kane is unharmed, as that could have been much, much worse. With the Euros just days away, his loss would have been devastating to an England side still lacking a bit of cutting edge.
After the red, Portugal brought on Southampton central defender Jose Fonte to restore the defensive shape, replacing attacker Rafa. England has looked dangerous at times but also spotty, level with Portugal 0-0 at halftime after few true chances on goal through the first 45 minutes.