LA Galaxy: Douglas Martinez produces ridiculous dive in shock US Open Cup win

European football fans do not pull their punches when it comes to criticising the version of the game we see on the other side of the Atlantic ocean.

While South American football culture has contributed significantly to the world’s game and birthed some of the greatest players ever, North American football is still trying to find its place, certainly among Europeans.

But following the antics of one player against LA Galaxy in a cup quarter-final this week, the criticism has flown in and boy is it justified.

The United States’ oldest ongoing national soccer competition – the US Open Cup – is quickly rearing its head as the remaining eight teams played out the quarter finals.

USL Championship outfit Sacramento Republic FC visited the LA Galaxy – one of the MLS‘ most successful teams – on Wednesday night, vying for a place in the semi-final.

The tie was locked at 1-1 heading into the closing stages despite Sacramento Republic taking an early lead, but they would eke out a shock victory against the favourites thanks to a 70th minute winner from Luis Felipe Fernandes.

Well, we say thanks to Fernandes, the Republic were actually helped over the line by an obscene use of the ‘dark arts’ – more commonly known as s****-housery – from Honduras international Douglas Martinez.

Douglas Martinez in action for Honduras against Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu
OSAKA, JAPAN – JULY 12: Douglas Martinez of Honduras and Takehiro Tomiyasu of Japan compete for the ball during the U-24 international friendly match between Japan and Honduras at the Yodoko Sakura Stadium on July 12, 2021 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

Just minutes after the ‘Quails’ had regained the lead, Martinez was chasing down a ball headed back to the Galaxy goal and began grabbing at the back of defender Nick DePuy to get to the ball, causing the two to fall over.

But, as the referee blows his whistle for what looked to be a foul in Galaxy’s favour, Martinez suddenly clutches his face as the two tangle on the floor, and theatrically rolls himself along the ground five times in an attempt to win the free-kick himself.

The desperate act prompted an angry response from DePuy and makes for hilarious viewing, as he then stops pretending he is in pain to see if he has won a foul.

You can watch the obscene dive below:

As expected, the theatrics prompted a big response from fans. Let’s take a look at some of those reactions below:

Of course, we aren’t condoning simulation, but you have to admire the ridiculousness of Martinez’ effort to buy a foul and see his side over the line.

You can clearly see where he suddenly stops pretending to be in severe pain, so that he can listen to the referee’s decision. And when he realises it hasn’t gone his side’s way, the play-acting actually continues, to waste some more time.

Better yet, he actually gives a thumbs up signal after talking to the referee, but continues to lie flat as if he’s really hurt. That’s an incredible showing of commitment to the dark arts, and one that would make the likes of Sergio Ramos, Pepe and David Luiz very proud.

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Unfortunately for Martinez, he wasn’t awarded a free-kick for his Oscar-worthy performance, but he certainly had the referee second guessing for a few seconds while he went down. In fact, he should be grateful he wasn’t punished for the simulation.

As a result of his antics, more valuable time was wasted as the Sacramento Republic edged past one of North America’s most successful sides to reach the US Open Cup semi-final, where they remain the only non-MLS side left in the competition.

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