The Bayern Munich winger won a spot-kick in injury time to enable Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to score the winner but admitted going to ground too easily earlier in the match
By Robin Bairner in Fortaleza
Arjen Robben has apologised for diving during Netherland’s dramatic comeback victory over Mexico in the World Cup round of 16 at Arena Castelao on Sunday.
Robben tormented the Mexican defence on numerous occasions with his pace, skill and direct running, and had several penalty appeals turned down before finally winning a spot-kick in the second minute of injury time when he went down under a challenge from Rafael Marquez.
Substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted from 12 yards to send the Oranje into the last eight of the tournament, after Giovani dos Santos’ opener had been cancelled out by a late Wesley Sneijder equaliser.
5 – Arjen Robben has won five penalties in 14 Champions League + World Cup games this season. Expert.
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) June 29, 2014
After the match Robben insisted the incident which won the game was a justified penalty, but admitted going to ground far too easily on one occasion in the first half.
“I must apologise,” he told NOS. The one [at the end] was a penalty, but the other one was a dive in the first half. I shouldn’t be doing that.”
Robben also revealed why he entrusted Huntelaar with the responsibility of the penalty rather than taking it himself.
“Usually I am comfortable with taking a penalty, but this time I was the one who was tackled,” he explained. “I felt comfortable that Huntelaar would capitalise.
“It was his moment, he deserved this. I’m almost crying from the emotions. The feeling is so strong, we want to win this, to fight together. These youngsters … I am so proud.”