Going down without a fight! Turkey’s play-off collapse summed up by Altintop dive
Turkey were many things in their Euro 2012 play-off defeat to Croatia last Monday, not many of them positive or complimentary.
But what summed up their performance in the 3-0 loss most was Hamit Altintop’s outrageous dive in the first half with his side already a goal down.
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Taking a tumble: Hamilt Altintop (right) is brought down against Croatia
The midfielder latched on to a promising pass in the box, but after seeing the ball go loose took to the ground in utter desperation following the slightest ounce of pressure from Ivica Olic.
It was so bad that none of his team-mates appealed and not even the opposition could be bothered to complain about his blatant act of cheating.
We haven’t quite decided what the worst aspect of it is. The awful first touch from Altintop, The dive itself, the cheek to appeal for a foul after or the referee’s lack of bottle to not award a yellow card for simulation.
Portuguese Pedro Proenca is in charge of the return leg and will certainly be wary of Altintop when the sides in Zagreb on Tuesday, where Guus Hiddink’s side will need to do more than dust up on their diving skills to qualify.