The Netherlands forward hits back at those calling him a "cheat" and insists that he did not try to con the referee for the decisive penalty in his side's 2-1 win over MexicoBy Greg Stobart in Rio de Janeiro
Netherlands star Arjen Robben says that he was too honest in confessing to a "silly" dive against Mexico but remains adamant that he did not cheat to win his team's decisive penalty in the World Cup second round.
Oranje ran out 2-1 victors in Fortaleza on Sunday after Robben won a 93rd-minute spot kick after a challenge from Rafael Marquez, which substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar converted to book a quarter-final against Costa Rica.
Robben was branded a "cheat" by Mexico coach Miguel Herrera and caused a storm when he admitted after the game that he had dived earlier in the match in an attempt to win a free kick but on Monday he sought to clarify his comments, claiming that he was too honest for his own good.
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"I always prefer to be honest and I said there was one foul in the first half where I went to the ground when the opponent took his leg away at the last moment. That was silly from me but it didn't influence the game. It had nothing to do with the game and the penalty was a clear penalty.
"I apologise for the action in the first half but that's football and it had nothing to do with the game.
"We had two clear penalties, one was given and that's it. We shouldn't think about it any more."
The victory for Louis van Gaal's men was the third time in the tournament that they have come from behind to win and extended their record to four victories from four matches in Brazil.
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"We are very proud to reach the quarter-finals and that is the main thing for us. I think the cardiologists in Holland are very happy with us," he remarked.
"Costa Rica is a very good team. They were in a very difficult group and not many people expected them to go through but they are a very strong team.
"We have a chance [to win the World Cup]. We have a lot of confidence in the team. I feel good. I have the strength and power to get away from my opponents and I am feeling good at the moment."