‘Horrific’ – Portugal star red-carded for Kung-Fu kick against Wales

Jared Wright
Portugal's Vincent Pinto kicks Wales' Josh Adams during the Rugby World Cup 2023, Pool C match at the Stade de Nice, France

Portugal's Vincent Pinto kicks Wales' Josh Adams during the Rugby World Cup 2023, Pool C match at the Stade de Nice, France.

Portugal star Vincent Pinto was red-carded for his kick to the face of Wales winger Josh Adams in the World Cup Pool C clash on Saturday.

It was Portugal’s first tournament match since 2007 after missing out on qualification for the 2011, 2015 and 2019 World Cups.

Vincent Pinto red card

Pinto leapt into the air to catch a high ball in the 76th minute, and while he did manage to catch the ball, he stuck his foot out, seemingly trying to balance himself.

However, his trailing foot struck Wales’ winger Adams in the face.

Referee Karl Dickson reviewed the incident with TMO Marius Jonker, and after judging that it met the yellow card threshold, he issued the sin-binning and referred the incident to the Foul Play Review Bunker.

Wales back-rower Taulupe Faletau would go on to score a crucial fourth try for his side to secure the 29-8 bonus point victory.

After the number eight dotted down, Dickson confirmed with the two captains that the decision had been upgraded to a red card.

Fans and pundits were upset by the decision as the sending-offs continue to be a controversial topic at the World Cup.

“That’s such an unfortunate red card for Vincent Pinto. There’s definitely a degree of danger, but he didn’t mean to do that. It was purely accidental IMO,” one observer wrote on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter.


Former England fly-half, now broadcaster and pundit Andy Goode, believes it is the worst decision so far at the Rugby World Cup.

He slammed the decision in a series of posts.

His first post read: “Horrific decision to give a yellow card for Pinto for that foot to the head, he’s falling backwards and over as he’s caught the ball! Simple physics! What the f**k?!”

With his subsequent reply added, “and it’s upgraded to a red for Pinto, one of the worst decisions I’ve ever seen.”

In a third post with a clip of the incident, he added: “Worst decision I’ve ever seen to give a red card to Pinto after the bunker review. He’s falling backwards and lost balance whilst looking the other way! What the actual f**k?!”

One fan was disappointed for the player but understood the decision.

“Feel very sorry for Pinto if I’m honest. Understand the red card decision – he’s kicked someone in the face after all – but I genuinely think that’s just come from him trying to regain his balance, and he’s been incredibly unlucky,” their post read.

Former Wales fly-half James Hook weighed in, posting: “Never easy in games you’re expected to win but with the players we’ve got we need to be better in attack. Hats off to Portugal, they came to play. Disagree with Pinto red card, what’s he supposed to do?”

One fan added: “I’m the first person to back safety measures in rugby but that red card for Pinto is harsh. Like many accidental contacts it ignores human kinetics. Struggling to see another outcome given the dynamics. Is imbalance worthy of the ultimate sanction… discuss.”

Portugal next face Georgia in their second match of the tournament on September 23.

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