It’s no secret that the image of Arjen Robben falling inside the goal area after an alleged foul by Rafa Márquez is still fresh in the minds of most Mexican soccer fans. #NoEraPenal
The thing is that during yesterday’s 2016 Euro Cup qualifier game, the memory of that painful moment came back when the Netherlands took a dive again, despite Arjen Robben’s absence, but this time to the bottom of European soccer.
The Netherlands needed to win their home game against the Czech Republic and have Turkey lose against Iceland. Did this happen? SPOILER ALERT: no, it did not.
The Netherlands had a terrible game and lost 2-3. They were down 0-2 by the 35th minute, so the Dutch manager decided to add power to his team’s attack by putting Robin Van Persie on the field. The Dutch striker was so anxious to score, he did this:
It was a good goal and it would have been the striker’s 101st goal with the national team, but unfortunately it was against his own team, so it doesn’t really count for his official goal tally.
Due to a Czech defender getting a red card, the Netherlands played with an extra player and took a few good steps on the road to a comeback. They were able to score two goals (including another one by Van Persie), but were unable to go the whole way.
Some might say that the Netherlands’ elimination from the 2016 Cup is karma for the infamous 2014 World Cup game against Mexico, but I say it is simply soccer, the most beautiful sport on earth, where one year you are playing a World Cup semifinal and the next you’re being humiliated like you haven’t been in 30 years.