NFL on Yahoo Sports:

Dirty Tackle

Arjen Robben apologizes for diving in first half against Mexico, but defends second-half penalty

Dirty Tackle
Netherlands' Arjen Robben, right, goes down under a challenge from Mexico's Hector Moreno during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and Mexico at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil, Sunday, June 29, 2014

View photo

Netherlands' Arjen Robben, right, goes down under a challenge from Mexico's Hector Moreno during the match against Mexico (Natacha Pisarenko/AP Photo)

For complete World Cup 2014 coverage visit Yahoo Sports and follow @YahooSoccer

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera put the blame squarely on the referee after the Netherlands' Arjen Robben was awarded a late penalty that helped complete a 2-1 comeback win that eliminated El Tri. Though replays showed Mexico captain Rafa Marquez stepping on Robben's foot, it was the third theatrical tumble of the match for the Dutch winger, who has long maintained a reputation for going down easy — even in training.

After the World Cup round of 16 match, Robben admitted that he did dive in the first half and apologized for it, but added that the penalty was deserved. From the Independent:

Speaking to Dutch television, Robben said: “The one at the end was a clear penalty but I have to admit there was an incident in the first half where I did dive. I must apologise. I should not be doing that.”

Robben usually evades these types of accusations, so it's a bit impressive that he actually admitted to it and expressed regret this time. When Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accused him of diving in the middle of a Champions League match last season, he just laughed it off.

Whatever Robben did in the first half is irrelevant to Mexico's concerns, though. And no manner of apology for earlier transgressions will make them feel better about how that match ended.

More coverage on Yahoo! Sports:

Win cash prizes, pick a fantasy roster for just one day, join in minutes!

Learn how to play

Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
NBA $15K Tournament [$2K to 1st] 1779/3410 $5 $15000 Today 7:30 PM Enter
NHL $2K Tournament [$200 to 1st] 253/454 $5 $2000 Today 7:00 PM Enter
NBA $7.5K Tournament [$1K to 1st] 131/341 $25 $7500 Today 7:30 PM Enter
View Comments (50)