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Robben falls theatrically to earn decisive penalty

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 29, 2014 at 4:24 pm •  Published: June 29, 2014
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FORTALEZA, Brazil (AP) — Arjen Robben did little to defuse the debate about his reputation for diving.

The Netherlands winger earned an injury-time penalty Sunday and then watched as teammate Klaas Jan Huntelaar converted from the spot to give the Dutch a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Mexico in the second round of the World Cup.

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

"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."

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 appears to have matured. In recent seasons, it has been his scintillating form rather than theatrical falls that have grabbed headlines.

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.

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