A referee in Peru cut short a cup tie after five players went down injured simultaneously, in what appeared to be a coordinated attempt to have the match abandoned.

Five players from Defensor Bolivar feigned injury in Sunday’s first leg of their Copa Peru semi-final against Defensor La Bocana, according to Depor newspaper.

Bolivar were losing 4-1 and conceded a fifth as their players writhed on the ground.

Having already had two men sent off, the referee had no option but to bring the game to a premature conclusion. At least seven players are required on each side.

The second leg on Thursday is now in doubt as authorities decide whether to punish Bolivar for the actions of their players.