Jeronimo likely to cop A-League ban
Adelaide import Jeronimo Neumann may become only the third A-League player banned for diving while Wellington captain Andrew Durante could also be sanctioned for calling him a cheat.
Argentine midfielder Neumann continued his great form in his first A-League season with two goals in the Reds' 3-1 win at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday but he was also at the centre of the highly controversial incident which resulted in Wellington defender Ben Sigmund being sent off.
Replays looked damning after Neumann tumbled in the box following a nudge on his leg from behind by last defender Sigmund and the incident is certain to be reviewed by the A-League's match review committee on Monday.
Under the league's rules on simulation introduced two seasons ago, players can be punished if a dive results in a red card or penalty and Neumann could be hit with the standard two-match ban.
That was the penalty served by former Central Coast Argentine import Patricio Perez and ex-Perth striker Michael Baird, who were banned for diving incidents in the 2010/11 season and remain the only players to have fallen victim to the policy.
The Phoenix have appealed Sigmund's red card but it will automatically be rescinded if Neumann is found guilty.
A furious Durante didn't hold back in comments made to a television interviewer on the field immediately after the match saying: "He has dived, he's a cheat."
He then qualified his comment by saying: In my book, if he's dived he's a cheat."
Football Federation Australia said the Phoenix were likely to be issued with a please explain over his comments in the coming days.
The experienced defender could be punished for breaching the A-League player code of conduct. However it's likely he would only receive a fine or suspended fine and not a ban.
After a match featuring several controversial offside calls, Wellington coach Ricki Herbert hinted he wanted to see Neumann punished, if indeed he was found to have taken a dive.
"Maybe there is a chance to make a bit of a statement here," Herbert said.
The controversy overshadowed the Reds' third win from four matches and the fine form of Neumann as imports continue to light up the early rounds of the competition.
Neumann has three goals in four games while Wellington's Belgian import Stein Huysegems also netted his third goal of the season in the match.
English veteran Emile Heskey is top of the international bunch, though, with a double in Newcastle's 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory on Friday giving him four goals from as many matches.
Alessandro Del Piero also scored for a third successive game, converting a penalty in Sydney FC's come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Perth Glory at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.
There was more refereeing controversy in that match, with Glory coach Ian Ferguson furious a penalty was not given when Rhyan Grant appeared to hand-ball inside the box.
Adelaide and the Jets lead the early running on nine points while Central Coast are two behind after bouncing back with a 1-0 away win over Melbourne Heart on Sunday.
Sydney and Perth are next while Western Sydney moved off the bottom of the ladder with their first ever win, a shock 1-0 upset away to reigning champions Brisbane Roar on Saturday night.