FORTALEZA: Mexico coach Miguel Herrera blamed Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca for his team’s last-minutes’ defeat by Holland in the World Cup second round here.

Herrera considered the dramatic conclusion to the game, in which Holland turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win, to have been sadly typical of “a World Cup in which everthing went us against all the time.”

He complained that Arjen Robben had dived to win the penalty from which Klas-Jan Huntelaar shot the Dutch winner in stoppage time. However Herrera conceded that Mexico’s defence had only themselves to blame for Wesley Sneijder’s equaliser in the 88th minute.

He said: “We made mistakes because we let Sneijder unmarked and the defensive line stayed too far back.”

Most of his post-match review, however, was directed at the World Cup referees in general and Proenca in particular.

He said: “The most decisive reason for the result was the gentleman with the whistle who put us out of the World Cup. Certainly the first goal against us was our own fault but the game should have gone to extra time when we could have regrouped.

“But when you had a referee who was going to be influenced into giving fouls and ‘inventing’ such a penalty then that’s something else entirely.

“We’ve had very disastrous referees against Mexico. We had two good goals disallowed against Cameron as well as two penalties refused in the same move against Croatia and today we had an unjust penalty awarded against us.”


Herrera also aimed critical comment at the referees’ commission over Proenca’s appointment.

He said: “When you send a referee from the same confederation as one of the two teans then immediately questions can be raised. There are referees here from South America, Asia and Africa and yet we had a referee from the same confederation as our opponents.

“The questionable decisions here were always against Mexico.”

He added: “Robben dived three times and got the decision the third time when he should have been shown the yellow card. We hope that the referees committee saw this and the referee goes the same way as us – to his home.”

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