Top five worst ‘dives’ in A-League Men History

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Everyone hates a simulation. Some would even go as far to say diving is ‘un-Australian’ and plaguing the game.

Football Australia hates it so much they gave referees the power to penalise players who they consider to be ‘faking’ a foul. Even with the threat of a yellow card, players continue to turn it up to milk a free.

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When making this list I was truly overwhelmed with the amount of mind-numbing, stupidly, atrocious attempts to get a freekick by our A-League Men’s players. It was hard to narrow it down to just five.

You’re welcome. This list has definitely taken years of my life. But I’ve done it. Buckle up. It’s truly horrific.

Number five: If you’re going fake it, at least make it look realistic.

It’s the 2015/16 season as Brisbane Roar take on Melbourne City.

Roar’s Jade North momentarily forgets simulations are a thing. He waits a good three seconds, processing a push to the chest from Bruno Fornaroli, before flopping to the floor.

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This one had to make the cut out of the sheer stupidity of it. Not only did he wait a good seven business days before reacting like a sack of potatoes, he actually cost the Roar the win by enabling City to equalise.

While he was rolling around on the floor like a toddler with his toys out of the pram. The Roar were a man down in defence letting City’s Nicolás Colazo score from outside the 18-yard box.

The only redeeming aspect of this simulation was that referee Shaun Evans didn’t fall for North’s antics.

At least make it look realistic Jade!

 

Number four: Penalising Patricio Perez

Coming in hot at number four we have to transport back to 2010 to the Sydney Football Stadium. It’s the Central Coast Mariners against Sydney FC. The 73rd minute.

Patricio Perez is coming into a one-on-one with Sydney’s keeper Liam Reddy. After slight contact, instead of continuing into an open goal, Perez decides to crumple to the floor. Clearly relying on his acting ability over football skills.

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He could have won an Oscar for the performance, with the dive resulting in a penalty goal and a red card for Reddy.

This levelled the scores resulting in a 1-all draw.

After reviewing the footage, Football Australia later decided Perez dove, suspending him for two games for simulation. Good riddance. Moving on….

Number three: Sebastian’s simulation

It’s the 2014/15 season, Sydney FC against Melbourne Victory at Allianz Stadium. It’s the 70th minute. The Victory are up by one.

Sebastian Ryall and Guiherme Finkler are running shoulder-to-shoulder into the box. Suddenly, Ryall hits the deck. The whistle blows. It’s a penalty.

Shane Smeltz takes the spot kick and levels the score.

This one has well and truly earned its spot at number three. The sheer cheek of Ryall to rub the head of Finkler after that atrocity.

Ryall added so much mayo to that simulation he may as well have been making a subway sandwich.

Number two: Baird goes boom…

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It’s 2010. Perth Glory against Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park.

Michael Baird goes to ground in the box earning a penalty. He converts the spot kick levelling the score.

Not sure who told Baird he was superman. A horizontal dive with both arms out? Really? Points for the dedication I guess. I hope he got grass burns.

Before we get to the worst of the worst. Here are some honorable mentions….

Adelaide’s Kusini Yengi’s dive against Melbourne Victory’s Roderick Miranda in the 2021 game almost earned a spot in my top five.

The sheer theatrics of it. You would have thought Yengi was on fire by the way he stopped, dropped and rolled.

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Manager Carl Veart was even heard on the sideline screaming, “Kusini … cut the f***ing s**t out!”

Don’t worry Veart, we agree.

Number One: The worst dive in the history of the A-League…

You already know which simulation this is.

You have this dive burned into the back of your eyelids, keeping you up at night.

Maybe you’re still infuriated by the absolute absurdity that this was given a penalty.

Or, maybe you’re just a Brisbane Roar supporter.

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It’s Besart Berisha’s simulation in the 2012 grand final against Perth Glory costing them the championship.

There’s an attendance of over 50,000 people at Suncorp Stadium. It’s one-all. Four minutes have been played of extra time. It’s the Roar’s last chance at a goal.

A challenge from Glory’s Liam Miller on the Roar’s Berisha causes an uproar. Referee Jarred Gillett polarises Australian society.

 

If you have watched that video and don’t think it’s a dive, watch it again. If you still believe it wasn’t a dive, for your health and safety go and get an eye check.

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Berisha could double as a basketball player with that air ball.

I’ll give it to Berisha, if I missed a kick like that, I’d crumple to the floor too.

Berisha converted that spot-kick and subsequently made the Roar the first A-League Men’s team to win back-to-back titles.

This dive has well and truly earned it’s place as the worst of the worst, bottom of the barrel. Truly horrific stuff.

It still infuriates me. But there you have it. Out of the vast number of simulations to choose from. These are my top five.

Feature Image: Credit: Melbourne City FC

 

 

 

 

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Tylah Tully
Tylah Tully
Current journalism student in Perth. Fanatical sports fan. One of two writers covering the Perth Glory men and women’s teams for the 2022/23 season.

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