Netherlands changed their fortunes after coming back from behind to eliminate Mexico 2-1. Costa Rica`s dream run continued as they saw off Greece. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung says that the Dutch didn`t deserve to win as Mexico looked better.
Excerpts from the conversation:
How did the game change for the Netherlands?
The last four-five minutes of luck changed the game for the Netherlands. One situation for a penalty that they could have claimed and they got that going their way.
People are calling Arjen Robben a cheat. Is it justified?
Mexico shouldn`t have tackled in the box. They tackled inside the penalty box and the referee always has a chance to give a penalty in that situation. Good defenders don`t tackle in the penalty box if they aren`t 100% sure.
You are defending Robben, but he has come out with a statement that he has realised his mistake?
The first dive by Robben was a genuine one to which even he has agreed. The second one was a scenario that tempted the referee. The referee was in pressure and he gave Robben the onus. But it was a tight call as there was a contact.
Did the Netherlands deserve the victory?
No they didn`t deserve to win. The way they have played in the group stages wasn`t the same on Sunday. It is an unfair result. Mexico deserve all the credit for a brilliant performance. They were certainly the better team.
Was the cooling break important?
Yes it is very important. The temperatures were high and it was very hot out there. We have played in excess of 40 degree Celsius in India and we haven`t got any break. But it is nice to see this happening. It`s good for the television channels too as they can show their advertisements...(then laughs)
How important are penalty shoot-outs?
After playing for 90 minutes and extra-time, penalty option is the last one. Good teams should be winning the game within extra-time at least. Penalties are like lotteries. You may be the second best team on the pitch but you can still go through via penalties. There are no favourites in penalties.