Controversy: 'Cheat' Arjen Robben admits to diving, apologies

Netherlands' Arjen Robben, right, goes down under a challenge from Mexico's Hector Moreno
Fortaleza (Brazil), June 30: Netherlands' winger Arjen Robben has created controversy by admitting that he dived during their Round of 16 FIFA World Cup 2014 match against Mexico which the Dutch won 2-1 yesterday (June 29).

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Trailing 0-1 till the 87th minute, Netherlands found the net twice in 7 minutes including the winning goal which came off a controversial penalty in the stoppage time (94th).

Robben was fouled in the box by Mexican captain Rafael Marquez in injury time and Portugal referee Pedro Proenca was quick to award a penalty to the Dutch. However, many fans vented their ire at the Bayern Munich star for deliberately diving. They called him a "cheat".

However, Robben said it was a foul on him in the stoppage time but admitted to have dived deliberately in the first half.

"The one at the end was a penalty, I was fouled. At the same time I have to apologise in the first half I took a dive and I really shouldn't do that. That was a stupid, stupid thing to do but sometimes you're expecting to be struck and then they pull their leg away at the last minute," Robben was quoted as saying by Dutch TV channel "NOS".

Mexico's coach Miguel Herrera was not happy with the referee not penalising Robben for diving. "Robben did three dives and he should have been cautioned. You should caution a guy who is trying to cheat and then if Robben did it again he would be sent off," Herrera was quoted as saying.

After the goal in the 48th minute by Giovani Dos Santos, the Dutch were almost on the brink of elimination but Wesley Sneijder's 88th-minute volley and Klaas Huntelaar's injury time penalty saved them and took the team into the quarter-finals where they face Costa Rica.

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