Netherlands rescued by late spot kick

03:14, Jun 30 2014
Neymar
Brazil's Neymar unsuccessfully appeals to referee Howard Webb for a foul.
Dani Alves
Brazil's Dani Alves makes a slide-tackle on Chile's Eugenio Mena.
Hulk
Hulk appeals to the assistant referee after having a goal for Brazil ruled out for a handball.
Alexis Sanchez
Chile's Alexis Sanchez waits for team-mates as he celebrates his first-half goal against Brazil.
David Luiz
David Luiz looks skyward in celebration of Brazil's first goal, which was later ruled an own-goal.
Arturo Vidal
Chile's Arturo Vidal steals a pass from in front of Brazil's Neymar.
Julio Cesar
Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar makes one of his two saves in the penalty shootout.
Chile team
A nervous bunch of Chilean players line up ahead of the penalty shootout.
Julio Cesar
Brazilian players swarm to goalkeeper Julio Cesar after defeating Chile 3-2 in a penalty shootout.
Neymar
Neymar puts a penalty shot past Claudio Bravo and into the net, the winning goal in the penalty shootout.
Dirk Kuyt
Holland's Dirk Kuyt battles for the ball with Mexico's Hector Herrera during their second round match in Fortaleza.
 Arjen Robben
Dutch winger Arjen Robben rides the tackle of Mexico captain Rafael Marquez during his side's 2-1 win.
 Arjen Robben
Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder fires his side's equaliser past Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
Robin van Persie
Netherlands striker Robin van Persie brings the ball under control.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar celebrates scoring his side's winning goal from the penalty spot in injury time.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Giovani dos Santos wheels away after putting Mexico 1-0 up against the Netherlands.
Alvaro Gonzalez
Uruguay's Alvaro Gonzalez challenges Colombia's Pablo Armero during their second round match at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez scores his second goal past Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to put Colombia 2-0 up.
Cristian Rodriguez
Uruguay midfielder Cristian Rodriguez tackles Colombia's Pablo Armero during their second round match in Rio de Janeiro.
James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez celebrates scoring his and Colombia's second goal with his team-mates.
Alexander Mejia
James Rodriguez scores with a sublime volley to put Colombia 1-0 up against South American rivals Uruguay.
James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez scores with a sublime volley to put Colombia 1-0 up against South American rivals Uruguay.
Bryan Ruiz
Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz celebrates scoring the opening goal in their second round match with Greece in Recife.
Joel Campbell
Costa Rica's Joel Campbell and Greece's Konstantinos Manolas compete for the ball.
Oscar Duarte
Costa Rica's Oscar Duarte (second left) is shown a red card after his second bookable offence by referee Benjamin Williams.
Bryan Ruiz
Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz (second right) scores his team's first goal past Greek goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis.
Cristian Gamboa
Costa Rica's Cristian Gamboa slides in to halt the progress of Greece's Jose Cholevas.
Giorgos Samaras
Greece striker Giorgos Samaras controls the ball under the close attentions of Costa Rica's Oscar Duarte.
Theofanis Gekas
Greek midfielder Theofanis Gekas sees his penalty kick saved by Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Michael Umana
Costa Rica’s Michael Umana fires the winning penalty past Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis during the penalty shootout.
Yeltsin Tejeda
Costa Rica’s Yeltsin Tejeda celebrates with team-mates after defeating Greece in a penalty shootout.
Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane of France controls the ball against Ahmed Musa of Nigeria during their clash at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Vincent Enyeama
Nigeria's Vincent Enyeama (right) checks on teammate Ogenyi Onazi as he lies on the pitch after a challenge against France.
Blaise Matuidi
France's Blaise Matuidi (14) and Mathieu Valbuena celebrate after winning their World Cup round of 16 game against Nigeria at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
Rio Mavuba
France's Mathieu Valbuena and Rio Mavuba (right) celebrate after winning their World Cup round of 16 game against Nigeria.
John Obi Mikel
John Obi Mikel of Nigeria challenges Paul Pogba of France during their round of 16 match at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Raphael Varane
France's Raphael Varane is hit by the ball in the face beside Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike (left).
Sofiane Feghouli
Algeria's Sofiane Feghouli is consoled by teammate Djamel Mesbah (back) after their loss to Germany at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Thomas Mueller
Thomas Mueller of Germany attempts a shot against Rais M'Bolhi of Algeria during the round of 16 match between Germany and Algeria at Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Jerome Boateng
Jerome Boateng and Per Mertesacker of Germany celebrate their team's second goal in extra time against Algeria.
Mesut Ozil
Germany's Mesut Ozil celebrates scoring his side's second goal during extra time against Algeria at the World Cup.
Mehdi Lacen
Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger (left) fights for the ball with Algeria's Mehdi Lacen during extra time round of 16 game at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre.
Yacine Brahimi
Yacine Brahimi of Algeria controls the ball against Mesut Oezil (left) and Sami Khedira of Germany.
Marcos Rojo and Josif Drmic
Argentina's Marcos Rojo jostles with Switzerland's Josif Drmic for possession in Sao Paulo.
Kevin De Bruyne
Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne raises his arms in celebration as he watches his strike roll into the net.
Kevin De Bruyne
Belgium's Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate a goal in their round of 16 knockout clash against USA.
Kevin De Bruyne
Belgium's Divock Origi throws himself into the goal net, behind USA goalkeeper Tim Howard after narrowly missing a strike.
Angel Di Maria
Argentina's Angel Di Maria sends his love to the crowd while celebrating scoring against Switzerland in the round of 16.
Angel Di Maria
Switzerland's Valon Behrami jumps for the ball next to Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain.

Arjen Robben did little to defuse the debate about his reputation for diving after an injury time penalty was awarded in Netherlands' second round World Cup match against Mexico early today.

The Netherlands winger earned the penalty and then watched as teammate Klaas Jan Huntelaar converted from the spot to give the Dutch a come-from-behind 2-1 victory.

The penalty was earned when Robben collapsed theatrically under a challenge from captain Rafael Marquez, causing emotional Mexico coach Miguel Herrera to blame his team's loss on referee Pedro Proenca.

Fred dive
Another view of the controversy foul on Fred.
Fred dive
Fred goes down. The call was Croatia's Dejan Lovren fouled him, and the resultant penalty put Brazil up 2-1 and turned the match.
Brazil v Croatia
Brazil's Neymar celebrates after scoring a goal from a penalty kick from the Fred foul.
Brazil v Croatia
Croatia's goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa fails to save the penalty.
Brazil v Croatia
Ivan Perisic of Croatia celebrates going 1-0 up as Brazil's Marcelo gets a deflection into the net for an own goal.
Brazil v Croatia
Brazil's Marcelo opens the scoring for the tournament - unfortunately it was an own goal.
Neymar
Neymar, second from left, celebrates with Dani Alves and Fred after his first goal.
Neymar
Hero of the day Neymar celebrates his first goal.
Giovani dos Santos
Giovani dos Santos is irate after a goal is disallowed for the second time against Cameroon.
Giovani dos Santos
Giovani dos Santos finds the back of the net, only for the goal to be disallowed.
Oribe Peralta
Mexico's Oribe Peralta heads the ball down under attention from Cameroon's Aurelien Chedjou.
Miguel Herrara
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera appeals to the fourth official Norbert Hauata after their first goal is disallowed.
Alex Song
Cameroon's Alex Song holds off Mexico's Jose Juan Vazquez.
Oribe Peralta
Oribe Peralta 61st-minute shot off a rebound proved the difference against Cameroon.
David Luiz
David Luiz of Brazil beats Javier Hernandez of Mexico during their World Cup clash at Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Rafael Marquez
Mexico's Rafael Marquez, left, fights for the ball with Brazil's David Luiz during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match.
Francisco Rodriguez
Brazil's Neymar holds the net after a failed attempt at the goal, as Mexico's Francisco Rodriguez smiles, during their World Cup football clash.
Paul Aguilar
Brazil's Neymar (right) fights for the ball with Mexico's Paul Aguilar during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Neymar
Brazil's Neymar reacts during his side's 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Mexico at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Mexico gallery
Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa receives a hug from teammate Paul Aguilar at the end of his side's 0-0 draw with Brazil at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Mario Mandzukic
Mario Mandzukic of Croatia celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Group A match against Cameroon at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil.
Dany Nounkeu
Croatia's Mario Mandzukic (left) fights for the ball with Cameroon's Dany Nounkeu during their World Cup Group A football clash.
Ivan Perisic
Ivan Perisic of Croatia (second right) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal against Cameroon.
Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren of Croatia challenges Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon during their World Cup clash at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil.
Alexandre Song
Referee Pedro Proenca of Portugal sends off Cameroon's Alexandre Song for a challenge on Croatia's Mario Mandzukic (on ground) during their World Cup match.
Benjamin Moukandjo
Benjamin Moukandjo of Cameroon controls the ball against Danijel Pranjic of Croatia during their Group A World Cup clash.
Fernandinho
Brazil's Fernandinho (second right) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Cameroon at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
Fernandinho
Brazil's Fernandinho (second right) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates during their 2014 World Cup Group A football match against Cameroon at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia.
Fernandinho
Julio Cesar (far left), Fernandinho and Luiz Gustavo of Brazil react after defeating Cameroon 4-1 during their Group A match against Cameroon at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Julio Cesar
Brazil's Fernandinho (right) shoots to score past Cameroon's Nicolas Nkoulou.
Fred
Brazil's Fred (right) celebrates his goal against Cameroon with teammates Neymar (second right) and Daniel Alves (left).
David Luiz
David Luiz of Brazil (left) celebrates his team's third goal, scored by Fred, during the Group A World Cup clash between Cameroon and Brazil at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.
Ante Rebic
Ante Rebic of Croatia walks off the pitch after receiving a red card during his side's loss to Mexico at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.
Andres Guardado
Mexico's Andres Guardado (top) jumps over Croatia's Danijel Pranjic during their World Cup Group A football match in Recife.
Ravshan Irmatov
Referee Ravshan Irmatov of Uzbekistan stands between Mexico's Andres Guardado (left) and Croatia's Darijo Srna during their World Cup Group A football match at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife.
Niko Kovac
Croatia's coach Niko Kovac speaks with Mario Mandzukic after being defeated by Mexico.
Javier Hernandez
Mexico's Javier Hernandez celebrates after scoring a goal against Croatia at the Pernambuco Arena in Recife.
Rafael Marquez
Mexico's Javier Hernandez celebrates teammate Rafael Marquez's goal against Croatia during their World Cup Group A football match in Recife June 23, 2014.

"We ended up losing because he whistled a penalty that did not exist," he said, adding that Robben "dived three times. The referee should have cautioned him".

Mexico fans reacted similarly, venting their rage online.

''He cheated, it's sickening,'' said one Mexican fan amid a storm of reaction on Twitter.

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fifa group b
HIGH FIVE: Robin van Persie of the Netherlands celebrates with head coach Louis van Gaal.
fifa group b
Robin van Persie of the Netherlands lines up the ball prior to scoring his teams first goal.
fifa group b
And he sends it off...
fifa group b
Can it make it? Yes, yes it can.
fifa group b
Spain's Xabi Alonso celebrates with teammates after scoring a penalty goal, the first of the match and their only one.
fifa group b
Stefan de Vrij deflects the ball in for the Netherlands' third goal against Spain.
Fifa group b
Robin van Persie heads the ball to score against Spain.
Fifa group b
Jean Beausejour celebrates scoring Chile's third goal with Mauricio Pinilla.
Fifa group b
Chile beat the Socceroos 3-1.
Tim Cahill
Australian striker Tim Cahill remonstrates after having a goal disallowed against Chile.
Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill leaps above Gary Medel to head the ball past Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Socceroos
Referee Noumandiez Doue sprays a temporary line for the Socceroos' wall to stay behind during a free kick.
Mark Bresciano
Australia's Mark Bresciano and Chile's Marcelo Diaz collide in Cuiaba.
Jean Beausejour
Jean Beausejour strikes Chile's final goal to secure a 3-1 victory over Australia.
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie high-fives Daryl Janmaat after scoring the Netherlands' second goal.
Arjen Robben
Dutch midfielder Arjen Robben gestures to a TV camera after scoring his third goal at the World Cup.
Tim Cahill
Socceroos striker Tim Cahill celebrates after his volley goal that is a contender for goal of the tournament.
Mile Jedinak
Australian captain Mile Jedinak is somewhere under the pile after converting his spot kick for a 2-1 lead.
Memphis Depay
Australia's Ryan McGowan looks on in disappointment as Memphis Depay celebrates his match-winning goal with Robin van Persie.
Tim Cahill and Ron Vlaar
Tim Cahill (right) and Ron Vlaar battle for the ball.
Gary Medel
Gary Medel of Chile controls the ball against David Silva of Spain during their World Cup Group B match at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres of Spain competes for the ball with Gary Medel (left), Marcelo Diaz (second left) and Francisco Silva of Chile (second right).
Chile gallery
Jose Pedro Fuenzalida, Felipe Gutierrez and Gary Medel of Chile celebrate a 2-0 victory over Spain in their Group B match at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos of Spain looks on as teammate Jordi Alba fixes his boot during the World Cup Group B match at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Mauricio Isla
Chile's Mauricio Isla, Eduardo Vargas, Arturo Vidal and Gonzalo Jara (left to right) celebrate after their first goal during their World Cup Group B football match against Spain at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Diego Costa
Spain's Sergio Ramos tries to hide his disappointment after a shock 2-0 loss to Chile during their World Cup Group B football match at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Stefan de Vrij
Stefan de Vrij of the Netherlands and Mauricio Pinilla of Chile compete for the ball during the Group B match between the Netherlands and Chile at Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben of the Netherlands controls the ball as Gonzalo Jara of Chile gives chase during their World Cup clash in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Alexis Sanchez
Chile's Alexis Sanchez (right) argues with Dirk Kuyt (left) and Ron Vlaar of the Netherlands during their 2014 World Cup Group B football match.
Leroy Fer
Leroy Fer of the Netherlands celebrates after scoring a goal against Chile at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay of the Netherlands (right) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates Arjen Robben (centre) and Daley Blind during their 2014 World Cup Group B football match against Chile.
Ron Vlaar
Ron Vlaar (left) and Daley Blind of the Netherlands celebrate after defeating Chile after their 2014 World Cup Group B football match at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo.
David Villa
Spain striker David Villa scores past Australia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan during their Group B clash at the Baixada Arena in Curitiba.
David Villa
David Villa puts Spain 1-0 up against Australia with a neat back heel past Australia's Mathew Ryan.
Fernando Torres
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres scores Spain's second goal against the Socceroos.
Spain midfielder Juan Mata is tracked by Australia's Mark Bresciano.
Juan Mata slots Spain's third goal through the legs of Socceroos goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.

''The type of embellishment employed by Robben is exactly what drives Americans crazy,'' added a sympathetic US football-lover.

Throughout his career, Robben has had a reputation for frequently falling and looking for a penalty or free kick.

But the 30-year-old Bayern Munich star appeared to have matured. In recent seasons, it has been his scintillating form rather than theatrical falls that have grabbed headlines.

Ron Vlaar
TWO TO REMEMBER: Ron Vlaar celebrates Netherlands' last-gasp second goal to win their round of 16 match against Mexico.

He set up a goal and scored the winner in Bayern Munich's 2013 Champions League final win and has been in the form of his life in Brazil, scoring three times and providing an inch-perfect assist for a Memphis Depay goal in the three Dutch victories in Group B.

In Fortaleza's Arena Castelao he appeared to be unlucky not to have won a penalty shortly before half time, when Mexico defenders Marquez and Hector Moreno raced back to tackle him after he linked up with Robin van Persie in a fast break.

''If that wasn't a penalty, I don't know what is,'' Robben said.  

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Memphis Depay
WINNING STRIKE: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar celebrates scoring from the spot in the final minute of the Netherlands match against Mexico.

But he conceded that he had taken one dive earlier in the first half that the referee waved off.

''I have to say, in the first half - and right away offer my excuses - I dived. I mustn't do that. It was another stupid action,'' he told Dutch broadcaster NOS.

Mexico captain Marquez told reporters that Robben conceded he had dived in injury time too - though Robben did not say that on Dutch TV.

Arjen Robben
DUTCH STAR: Arjen Robben.

''I spoke with him (Robben) after the match and he told me that it was not a penalty,'' Marquez said.

''He said that the first foul was a penalty and that one was not called.''

THE GOALS

The stoppage time penalty from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar gave the Netherlands the dramatic 2-1 victory over Mexico.

It came just minutes after the Mexicans had seemed certain to reach the quarter-finals. With two minutes to play, Mexico were leading 1-0, but Wesley Sneijder pulled the Dutch level with a fierce drive, seemingly forcing the match into extra time.

Then, in stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes, Robben drew the penalty and Huntelaar converted the spot kick to take the Dutch through.

They would play either Greece or Costa Rica in Salvador next Sunday and would fancy their chances of making the last four.

It was a cruel ending for Mexico, who dominated much of the match and took the lead just after the break through forward Giovani Dos Santos.

He chested the ball down 30 metres from goal before firing a low left-foot shot into the bottom corner of the net.

The Dutch almost equalised 10 minutes later when their big centre back Stefan De Vrij forced a brilliant reflex save from Guillermo Ochoa.

The keeper parried the effort on to his left hand post and his defenders cleared it to safety.

The Dutch victory followed their swashbuckling performances in the group stage as their quest for a first World Cup title went on.

For the Mexicans, defeat meant more second-round heartache.They have now reached the last 16 at six consecutive World Cups and have lost every time.

SCINTILLATING STYLE

Robben began this World Cup in scintillating style with two goals against reigning champions Spain in a 5-1 drubbing that shook the supposed footballing order of Europe.

He also scored against Australia, putting him on three goals so far and no doubt aspiring to overtake current top scorer James Rodriguez of Colombia as the tournament progresses.

Saturday's quarter-final would be another great chance for Robben to shine.

It has all been the perfect way for him to banish the haunting memory of the final four years ago, when he missed a one-on-one chance against Spanish keeper Iker Casillas that could well have given the Dutch their first ever World Cup.

The image of a disbelieving Robben, hands on head, remains one of the lingering memories of the 2010 World Cup.

He arrived in Brazil, however, at the height of his powers, with a string of injuries behind him and a confidence-boosting season as a key member of a great Bayern Munich side.

Robben's move to Germany in 2009 helped dispel much of the criticism that dogged his early career in England and Spain.

Despite winning league titles with both Chelsea and Real Madrid, he had never really lived up to his billing as one of the most exciting attacking players in the world.

His characteristic ploy of cutting in from the right to fire a powerful shot off his left foot often ended in derision from fans when the ball flew over or wide.

But the move to Bayern and the appointment of former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola in 2013 have seen him improve immensely and with a fit Robben pulling the strings, Bayern's dominance has not been limited to the domestic scene.

Having missed a penalty in the 2012 Champions League final against Chelsea, Robben redeemed himself in 2013, scoring a last-gasp winner against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley to claim Europe's most prestigious club prize.

Now Robben was gunning for the ultimate world prize, one that has eluded his nation to earn the Dutch an unwanted reputation as the best team never to win a World Cup.

For Mexico coach Miguel Herrera, however, Robben's tournament should be all but ended.

''If the referee was fair, their second goal wouldn't exist,'' a furious Herrera said, accusing Robben of diving three times.

''Because Arjen Robben would have been sent off for a second yellow card. But if you don't book him after the first one, then the player knows he can get away with it.''

Reuters