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Arjen Robben admits to diving but says last-minute penalty was right

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Arjen Robben has apologised for diving during the World Cup last-16 encounter with Mexico - but not for the incident that led to the decisive 94th-minute spot kick that sent Holland into the quarter finals. 

Giovani dos Santos had given the Mexicans a shock second-half lead and they looked on their way to their first ever place in the last eight until Wesley Sneijder's equaliser with two minutes left on the clock. 

Deep into added time, Bayern Munich winger Robben cut back from the byline just inside the area and when Marquez's foot made contact with his own, the Dutchman fell to the floor leaving Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca to point to the spot.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar coolly converted to send the Netherlands through - who will now face Costa Rica for a place in the semi finals following their penalty shootout win over Greece. 

However, after the day's early fixture the penalty incident was at the forefront of everyone's minds but the former Chelsea and Real Madrid star insisted the referee was right to award the spot kick. 

Post-match, he told Dutch television: "I have to apologise, in the first half I took a dive. The one at the end was a penalty." 

That is very much up for debate, with television replays revealing minimal contact but there may have been just enough to throw Robben off balance. That said, the way in which he throws himself to the floor makes for uncomfortable viewing leaving Mexico's vibrant manager, Miguel Herrera, furious.

"Robben dived three times," he said afterwards. "You should caution a guy who is trying to cheat, and then if Robben did it again he would have been sent off."

Herrera, who has been a bright spark of Brazil 2014 with his passionate celebrations, was also critical of Fifa's decision to appoint a European match official. 

"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 go home, just like us," he added

Meanwhile Danny Murphy, the former Fulham captain turned BBC pundit for this summer's tournament, was adamant Robben had cheated: "I hate to see any big game decided by an incident like that. I thought Robben dived, I thought he cheated the referee to get the penalty." 

The Netherlands will now strongly fancy their chances of a second semi-final date in the past four years, having finished runners-up to Spain in 2010 and with just lowly Costa Rica - who played for a long time with 10 men in their last 16 match with Greece - standing in Holland and Louis van Gaal's way. 

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Topics:
World Cup
Arjen Robben
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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