Arjen Robben apologised for diving before winning the decisive injury-time penalty in the Netherland's FIFA World Cup victory over Mexico.
Louis van Gaal's men, who topped Group B, were staring at elimination in Sunday's last-16 clash until Wesley Sneijder drilled home in the 88th minute to cancel out Giovani dos Santos' superb opener.
But there was further drama as Robben - who has three goals so far in the competition - went down under a challenge from Mexico's veteran captain Rafael Marquez, leaving substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to clinically dispatch the resulting spot-kick.
After the match, Mexico coach Miguel Herrera furiously claimed Robben "mugged" his team and accused him of diving on three occasions during the match.
The Bayern Munich winger did not entirely disagree, saying he went down too readily earlier in the contest.
But he insisted the award of the penalty itself, following rejected claims against Hector Moreno and Diego Reyes, was valid - Robben appearing to draw contact from Marquez before going to ground somewhat theatrically.
"I must apologise," he told NOS.
"The one (at the end) was a penalty, but the other one was a dive in the first half. I shouldn't be doing that."
On Moreno, who went off injured after tangling with Robben at the end of the first half, he added: "He hit me on my shin and must then (go) off himself with an injury.
"Then I get hit again if that is not a penalty, I do not know."
Robben ceded penalty taking duties to Huntelaar and spoke warmly of Netherlands' match-winner, who came on as a late substitute for Robin van Persie as the sapping Fortaleza heat took its toll on the Manchester United striker.
"Usually I am comfortable with taking a penalty, but this time I was the one who was tackled," Robben said.
"I felt comfortable that Huntelaar would capitalise.
"It was his moment, he deserved this. I'm almost crying from the emotions. The feeling is so strong, we want to win this, to fight together. These youngsters...I am so proud."
Statement: Optus' FIFA World Cup™ coverage
Like all football fans in Australia, FFA has been very disappointed by the technical problems which have so affected the FIFA World Cup coverage by Optus. Optus’ broadcasting agreement is with FIFA not FFA, but FFA is receiving regular updates from both Optus and SBS to see wh
Opponent Watch: Denmark midfielder ruled out of FIFA World Cup™
France have played out a difficult training game against an Under-19 club opponent while Denmark have seen one of their key midfielders ruled out of the tournament with an injury. Plus the latest on Peru in this edition of Opponent Watch. DAY 29 WRAP: France game dissected
Revealed: What Jedinak said to Socceroos teammates after loss
Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak has explained what he said to teammates in a huddle following the narrow 2-1 loss to France at the FIFA World Cup™. Jedinak, who scored Australia’s goal from the penalty spot, was picked in midfield alongside Aaron Mooy and the duo produced a ste
The star a nation is built around: Denmark's key men
Denmark is the next name on the Socceroos’ list as they head to Samara for the second Group C fixture on Thursday night (AEST) – you can catch it at 10pm AEST on SBS and Optus Sport. Ranked 12th in the world, Denmark finished second in their qualifying group behind Poland and