Only one game into the World Cup and we already have one shock own goal, a Neymar brace, and a terrible refereeing decision on not even that good of a flop.
The hosts Brazil survived with a 3–1 victory over Croatia by the skin of Yuichi Nishimura’s whistle-blowing teeth after the Japanese referee called an absurd penalty in the 69th minute. The incident came when Brazilian forward Fred slipped in the box, fell on his back, and did his best pigeon impression. Rule of thumb: When you’re fouled as badly as Fred was indicating he was, you don’t have the time to shrug your shoulders at a ref as you’re falling down.
This was the clear winner of dive of the day in the day’s only game. It will be tough to challenge this one in terms of refereeing controversy, but the dive itself was a mediocre performance. The main simulation came from the ground itself well after the non-foul had not occurred.
We score dive of the day on three categories: level of actual contact (1 if there’s no contact at all, 10 for a huge collision), level of simulated contact (1 for a stoic response, 10 for acting like you’ve been shot), and dive duration.
Not only was there not any contact, there was very little effort on Fred’s part to pretend like he hadn’t just fallen on his backside. The main theatrics came after he was going down as he waved his arms at the official, imploring for the call with his arms. Only in Brazil! No, seriously. Only in Brazil would any ref ever have called that a penalty.
Level of actual contact: 1
Level of simulated contact: 5
Dive duration: 10 seconds