Ron Vlaar was happy to step up first in Netherlands' penalty-shootout loss

Hector Herrera of Mexico goes for a header against Stefan de Vrij (L) and Ron Vlaar of the Netherlands during the 2014 FIFA World Cup round of 16 match in Fortaleza on June 29, 2014
© Getty Images
Ron Vlaar insists that he was happy to take on the responsibility of Netherlands' first penalty, despite missing in their World Cup semi-final shootout defeat to Argentina.

Netherlands defender Ron Vlaar has insisted that he was comfortable taking their first penalty in their World Cup semi-final shootout defeat to Argentina on Wednesday.

The Aston Villa man was the surprise choice to step up first for the Dutch and saw his effort saved by Sergio Romero as Argentina went on to win 4-2 on spot kicks.

Several critics have questioned Louis van Gaal's decision to have Vlaar lead Holland off, rather than Arjen Robben, but the 29-year-old has stressed that he was happy to take on that responsibility.

He told reporters: "I would never walk away from my responsibility. I wasn't nervous, I was focused. But it had to go in and it didn't. Unbelievable. It's tough, but that's what sport is about."

Van Gaal has revealed that two of his players declined the chance to take the opening Dutch penalty.

Head coach Louis van Gaal of the Netherlands reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group B match between Australia and Netherlands at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 18, 2014
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