الخميس , مايو 20 2021

I dived but not for penalty

Arjen Robben apologised for diving as the Netherlands

beat Mexico 2-1

in the last-16 of the World Cup but said it was not for the decisive penalty.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar converted the match-winning spot kick in stoppage time after Robben had been fouled.

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera accused Robben of diving three times in the game, but the forward told Dutch television: “I have to apologise. In the first half I took a dive.

“The one at the end was a penalty.”

Arjen Robben

Dutch forward Arjen Robben fell inside the area in the first half following a challenge, but no penalty was given

Robben was fouled by Mexico captain Rafael Marquez in the 94th minute, but Herrera suggested the Bayern Munich player should not have even been on the pitch to be able to win the penalty.

“Robben dived three times,” he said.

“You should caution a guy who is trying to cheat, and then if Robben did it again he would be sent off.”

Mexico first suffered a penalty scare towards the end of the first half when Robben fell inside the area following a challenge by Hector Moreno.

Miguel Herrera

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera accused the referee of ‘inventing’ the Netherlands’ decisive penalty

Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca waved play on and Mexico took the lead early in the second half when Giovani Dos Santos scored from distance.

Robben again went to ground inside the area after a Miguel Layun challenge, before Wesley Sneijder equalised with a powerful drive late on.

Just as extra-time looked likely, Robben raced into the area, Marquez stuck out a boot and the referee awarded the penalty, which Huntelaar coolly finished to put Netherlands through.

It left Herrera incensed, and he added: “Why did Fifa choose a referee from the same confederation as the Netherlands instead of one from South America, Asia or Africa?

“The doubtful decisions were always against us. In three matches we had horrible refereeing. The man with the whistle knocked us out.

“I want the referee committee to take a look and that the referee goes home, just like us.”

Mexico and Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez echoed the thoughts of his manager.

“We were so close to get through but a very doubtful penalty sent us out,” he said.

“Referees are humans, they make mistakes but unfortunately sometimes these mistakes hurt a lot of people.

“We need to leave this moment behind us turn to the next page.”

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