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.
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