Two Dutch players refused first penalty: Van Gaal
Holland coach Louis van Gaal has revealed that two of his players refused to take the first spot-kick during their semi-final penalty shootout loss to Argentina before settling on defender Ron Vlaar.
While he had an excellent outing in central defence to keep Lionel Messi and the Albiceleste quiet as the game ended scoreless after 120 minutes, the Aston Villa captain's effort from the spot was saved by Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
Romero then went on to save Wesley Sneijder's penalty to help Argentina book their place in the World Cup final against Germany with a 4-2 win.
Despite their emphatic shootout success against Costa Rica in the quarter-finals, van Gaal said two of his players declined to take the all-important first penalty to set them on their way.
The 62-year-old, who will take over as Manchester United manager after the World Cup, said: "It should give you confidence. We took those penalties in an incredible way against Costa Rica.
"But the issue is you score the first one and I asked two players to take the first ball before ending up with Vlaar.
"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 the most terrible scenario, to lose on penalties: at the very least we were equal with them, if not the better team.
"It's a big disappointment."
Source: PA Sport