Netherlands vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Louis van Gaal reveals he chose Ron Vlaar for first penalty because two other players said no

Vlaar saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Sergio Romero as Argentina progressed to the World Cup final

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal came under criticism for selecting defender Ron Vlaar for their first penalty in the semi-final shootout defeat to Argentina, but the head coach has revealed that two other players refused to take the first spot kick.

Having come through a penalty shootout in the quarter-final after Costa Rica pushed them all the way, but Wednesday’s encounter came a step too far for the Dutch as first Vlaar and then Wesley Sneijder saw their efforts saved by Sergio Romero.

With the Argentinians scoring all of their four attempts, they booked their place in the final on Sunday where they’ll meet Germany, while the Netherlands must suffer the pain that is competing in the third-place play-off against demoralised Brazil.

Speaking after the defeat, Val Gaal revealed that Vlaar would not have gone first had two other unnamed players stepped up and taken responsibility.

“You need to score the first one and I asked two players to take the first ball before ending up with Vlaar,” said Van Gaal.

“I thought he was the best player on the pitch so should have a lot of confidence. It just goes to show it's not easy scoring in a penalty shoot-out.

“It's a very humiliating question to be asked who the players were.”

 

He also went on to admit the “hurt” he was feeling over seeing Romero save the penalties, given the pair worked together during their time at AZ Alkmaar.

Vlaar was excellent in the 120 minutes but had his penalty attempt saved Vlaar was excellent in the 120 minutes but had his penalty attempt saved “We didn't lose against them, but the penalties are down to luck,” added Van Gaal.

“I taught Romero how to stop penalties, so that hurts.”

Read more: Netherlands 0 Argentina 0 match report
The world reacts to Romero's 'Hands of God'
Did Messi inspire penalty shootout victory?

Van Gaal will face the same task as Luis Felipe Scolari faces in picking up his squad mentally to compete in Saturday’s third-place play-off, with both teams being forced to compete with the knowledge that their World Cup hopes are over.

They head into the game though with a stark contrast in fortunes to the Brazilians, given that they went out narrowly in a tense penalty shootout while the hosts were demolished by Germany in the crushing 7-1 defeat on Tuesday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Miracle muffin: chemicals can keep a muffin looking good at least a month after it was bought
food + drinkThe alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
News
business
Arts and Entertainment
TV
News
An 'Einstein cross', just above the multicoloured cross, shows four spots of yellow light, where the light from a distant supernova is distorted by 'gravitational lensing'
science
Voices
A recent rise in net migration has been considered bad news for the Government
voicesYet when we talk about it, the national media goes into a frenzy, says Nigel Farage
Sport
Johnny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
footballI don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
News
people
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable