Louis van Gaal reveals that two of his Netherlands players declined to take the first penalty in the 4-2 shootout defeat against Argentina.
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that two of his players turned down the opportunity to take the first penalty in their World Cup semi-final shootout defeat.
Following a goalless 120 minutes in Sao Paulo, Ron Vlaar stepped up to take the opening spot kick, which was well kept out by Sergio Romero.
Argentina went on to win the shootout 4-2 to seal their place in the showpiece final on Sunday, when they will face Germany at the Maracana.
"I asked two players to take the first ball before ending up with Vlaar," Van Gaal is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
"I thought he was the best player on the pitch so should have confidence. It just goes to show it's not easy scoring in a shootout."
The new Manchester United boss added: "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."
Van Gaal also said that he wanted to bring on Tim Krul for the penalty shootout, but he had run out of substitutions.
Match Analysis: Netherlands 0-0 Argentina (Arg win 4-2 on pens) >