Mexico's captain Rafael Marquez said Arjen Robben had admitted to him that the Dutch forward should not have been awarded the penalty that decided Sunday's last-16 clash.With extra time looming, the pacey Robben went down in the box under a challenge from defender Marquez, giving the Netherlands a penalty that won the game 2-1 but brought accusations of play-acting from Mexico.
Arjen Robben (L) of the Netherlands is fouled in the penalty area during their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Mexico at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza (REUTERS)
Robben told him after the game in the players' changing area "that it wasn't a penalty, though one of the previous (tackles) was," Marquez told journalists in comments that were translated from Spanish.
The Dutch forward went down several times in the box during the match with replays suggesting at least one of the incidents could well have been given as a penalty.
"I believe it was not a penalty," Marquez added of the last-gasp action that lost his team the game. "I felt I touched the ground but I didn't touch him, maybe he touched me."
The Mexico captain said Robben, 30, who has had a brilliant career but often been accused of diving, had abused the spirit of the game. "For 10 fouls that he receives, he lets himself fall over for five, and that's not fair play," Marquez said.
"That has to change. Unfortunately in this World Cup it wasn't just once or twice that these things affected us, but I don't want to make excuses."