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Jun 30, 2014

Arjen Robben 'dived to win penalty'

Mexico captain Rafael Marquez is adamant that Netherlands winger Arjen Robben dived to win the injury-time penalty which sent El Tri home from the World Cup on Sunday.

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Robben was tripped by Marquez inside the penalty area with the score tied at 1-1 and extra time looming in the round-of-16 clash in Fortaleza. Referee Pedro Proenca pointed to the spot, and Netherlands substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted to book a quarterfinal meeting with Costa Rica next Saturday.

After the game Robben admitted to diving earlier in the match, and said he should curb that tendency in his game, but maintained that he had been fouled during the key late incident.

Television pictures suggested that Marquez had caught the Dutchman's left foot in the late penalty incident, although the Bayern Munich winger did then seem to exaggerate the contact.

But the former Barcelona and New York Red Bulls defender, captaining Mexico at a World Cup finals for a fourth tournament, told AS that Robben had actually tricked the referee.

"It was not a penalty," Marquez said. "I did not touch him. My foot came down on the ground, not on him. It was he who made contact with me. The referee thought I had made contact with him and whistled for the penalty."

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Marquez, who was lucky to avoid conceding a penalty and potential red card when he appeared to kick Robben in the heel late in the first half of the game, said that the Dutch No. 11 had continuously conned the referee throughout the game.

"Of every 10 free kicks Robben gets, he dives for five of them," he said. "That is not fair play."

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera was also scathing in his criticism of Portuguese referee Proenca in his news conference, saying Robben could have been sent off for regular "simulation."

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