Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal, has revealed that two of his player said no to his plea of taking the first penalty during his side's defeat to Argentina in the World Cup semi-final, according to the Daily Mirror.
After a very defensive game between two sides that were fearful of losing, the game eventually went to penalties after the scoreline was yet to be broken. With the Dutch having seen off Costa Rica on penalties in the last round, there was a confident feeling around the camp.
However, that suddenly turned due to two un-named players refusing to take the side's opening penalty, which left centre-back Ron Vlaar with the honours.
Vlaar the wrong choice
Everyone in football says that scoring your first penalty in a shoot-out is vital, and that is why you should always send out your best spot-kick taker. Van Gaal however was forced to send out his central-defender, who saw his penalty saved by Sergio Romero. Things got even worse for the Dutch when Wesley Sneijder also saw his penalty saved, and it was then left with Maxi Rodriguez to finish off the semi-final, which he did with a bullet from 12-yards.
The victory means Argentina will progress to the final to face Germany, whilst Netherlands will face the hosts Brazil in the third-placed playoff.
Van Gaal's revelation
After the game, not only did Van Gaal reveal that at least two players rejected his appeal to be the first taker, he also admitted that he wished he had one more substitute at the end so that he could once again bring on Tim Krul for Jasper Cillessen, the switch that he made for the Costa Rica game.
Cillessen has never saved a penalty before in his professional career, and that is why Van Gaal made the swap against Costa Rica, but after being forced to take out Robin van Persie due to exhaustion, the new Manchester United boss had no subs left.
When facing the press, Van Gaal discussed what went down after the full-time whistle in extra-time. Van Gaal said: ''I ask myself the same question, if having won one before should have given us an advantage.
''It should give you confidence. We took them in incredible way against Costa Rica.
''The issue is that you have to score first penalty. I asked two players to take the first one before I ended up with Vlaar.
''He had confidence because he was the best player on the pitch. When push comes to shove it's not easy to score.''
It is believed that Sneijder, Dirk Kuyt, Arjen Robben and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar all said no to Van Gaal before Vlaar finally stepped up.
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