Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has apologized for diving in the match against Mexico, but insisted that he was fouled during the penalty.
Netherlands progressed through to the quarter-final after a hard-fought win over Mexico in the round of 16. Louis van Gaal’s came back after conceding the lead to Mexico in the second half with two late goals in the match. Wesley Sneijder scored the equalizer in the 88th minute, while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored the decisive penalty in stoppage time to complete the turn around.
Rafael Marquez, Mexico’s most experienced defender, was deemed to have fouled Arjen Robben in the box when the Dutchman tried to wriggle his way through a host of defenders. Replay showed that the former Barcelona defender did make contact with Robben when he failed to win the ball, and the Bayern Munich winger made the most of it.
But questions were raised as to why the officials didn’t book Robben during an earlier incident when he clearly dived. The 30-year-old, who has a reputation of going down easily, has apologised after the match for simulation in a separate incident during the game, but insisted that Marquez did foul him when the penalty was awarded.
“The one at the end was a penalty, I was fouled.
“At the same time, I have to apologise as in the first half I took a dive and I really shouldn’t do that.
“That was a stupid, stupid thing to do but sometimes you’re expecting to be struck and then they pull their leg away at the last minute.” – The Netherlands winger said after the match.
Meanwhile Mexico manager Miguel Herrera was outraged at what he felt was “disastrous” officiating during the game and questioned why the referee didn’t book Robben for his simulations. He also questioned FIFA’s decision to appoint an official from the same confederation as Netherlands for this match.
“Out of the four matches here in all of them the refereeing was disastrous.
“Robben did three dives and he should have been cautioned. You should caution a guy who is trying to cheat, and then if Robben did it again he would be sent off.
“And why did FIFA choose a referee from the same confederation as Holland instead of one from South America, Asia or Africa?
“The doubtful decisions were always against us. We have to say it in capital letters, in three matches we had horrible refereeing. The man with the whistle knocked us.
“I want the referee committee to take a look and that the referee goes home just like us.” – Herrera said in his post-match interview.