Are you curious about the red cards in a football match in Australia? The short answer is three.

The reddest cards in a football match is three for Australian football clubs—a dubious honor obtained in three different soccer matches. It’s not really something any team can be proud of because a red card signifies a transgression of the lowest nature possible in soccer and always results in the offending player(s) being sent off the field–which means it is not possible for a player to receive more than one red card during a match.

These moments tend to become infamous among viewers and fans. Let’s explore the circumstances behind the reddest cards we’ve seen in football matches so far, both in Australia and abroad.

The A-League Football Matches With the Most Red Cards

The issuing of a red card is unusual and is usually a point of shame for the offending team (and their fans). Fortunately, issuing multiple red cards in a single match is rare. Let’s look at the three matches in Australian A-League games in which three red cards were issued.

Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne Victory

This Round 11 match was played during the 2007-8 season, and the Mariners won 2-1. Joe Keenan (MVC), Sasho Petrovski (CCM), and Rodrigo Vargas (MVC) were issued red cards for serious transgressions on the field.

Perth Glory vs Sydney FC

This Round 16 match during the 2014-15 season was played at HBF Park in Perth. Sydney won the match with three goals to one. Red cards were presented to Dino Djulbic (PER), Jacques Faty (SYD), and Nikola Petković (PER).

Adelaide United vs Brisbane Roar

The match was played at Coopers Stadium during Round 17 of the 2018-19 season. The final score was 4-3. Ken Ilsø (ADL), Dane Ingham (BRI), and Jamie Young (BRI) received red cards during the match.

Most Red Cards for Soccer Matches Abroad

When we spread the net a little wider into the international domain, we see a totally different picture of red cards in soccer matches. Five red cards in a match is the record for English Premier League, most often for openly brawling. However, in the Spanish League match between Espanyol vs Barcelona in 2003, six red cards were issued for six different incidents on the field.

Claypole vs Victoriano Arenas

In this match between two Argentinian club teams in 2011, a whopping total of 36 red cards were handed out–two to all the players, all the substitutes, and all the team managers. The following year, in 2012, the same number of red cards appeared during the Teniente Farina vs Libertad match in the Paraguayan youth league.

Portugal vs the Netherlands

This match in the 2006 World Cup holds the record for the reddest cards in a FIFA match: four red cards. However, each red card was the result of an individual receiving two yellow cards–of which there were sixteen in total for the game.


Soccer in Australia seems downright tame when we compare the issue of red cards between foreign and international matches. Looking at the rare occurrence of multiple red cards in a football match, both in Australia and overseas, it’s clear to see that on the whole, players and managers alike are committed to keeping games fair and legitimate. That integrity is what will keep the game strong and popular among adult players, kids, and passionate fans for years to come.