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Virgil van Dijk reflects on Holland’s penalty shootout defeat to Argentina

‘Everything had gone in, until tonight’: Virgil van Dijk says Holland practiced penalties ‘a lot’, after shootout defeat to Argentina… and insists his spot-kick miss ‘could have been more in the corner’

After Holland’s penalty shootout defeat to Argentina, defender Virgil van Dijk has claimed that ‘everything had gone in’ for the Dutch players in penalty training.

Louis van Gaal’s side crashed out of the World Cup quarter-finals after a heroic comeback saw the game end 2-2 before the penalty shootout saw Argentina progress.

Liverpool’s van Dijk stepped up first for Holland and saw his effort saved by Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez and, upon reflection, he admits the shot ‘could have been more in the corner’.

Virgil van Dijk winces after watching his spot-kick saved during the quarter-final shootout

Argentina's Emiliano Martinez dived to his right to make the crucial stop against van Dijk

Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez dived to his right to make the crucial stop against van Dijk

Speaking to Dutch outlet NOS, captain van Dijk said: ‘We trained a lot for it. Everything had gone in. Until tonight. Then you will be very disappointed. That hurts a lot.’ 

When asked on his spot-kick miss, the defender said: ‘That has to do with all sorts of things. It was hard. Could have been a little more in the corner. 

‘Unfortunately, those things happen in football. It’s time to practice again and I’m going to do that,’ said Van Dijk.

The Dutch centre-half took the first penalty of the shootout – which Martinez saved – before Argentina’s Lionel Messi stepped up to the plate and dispatched his second spot-kick of the night.

Straight after van Dijk, Steven Berghuis stepped up to the plate and – despite going in the opposite corner – also saw his effort saved by Martinez.

The Liverpool defender took the first penalty of the shootout which they eventually lost

The Liverpool defender took the first penalty of the shootout which they eventually lost

Steven Berghuis sits on his knees after watching his effort also get saved by Martinez

Steven Berghuis sits on his knees after watching his effort also get saved by Martinez

Van Gaal’s side did well to earn a shootout in the first place, after miraculously clawing the game back to 2-2 with two late goals. 

Substitute Wout Weghorst bagged himself a brace after coming in the 78th minute of the match. The first, a flicked header that left Martinez no chance. 

The second was a well-worked free-kick routine, which came in the final moments of regulation time, that saw the game go to extra-time.

There was chaos as tensions boiled over with both sets of teams receiving a number of yellow cards for a brawl towards the end of the match.  

Argentina missed only one effort, through Enzo Fernandez, which saw them progress to the semi-finals where they’ll place Croatia next Tuesday. 

Argentina players celebrate after booking their places in the semi-finals of the World Cup

Argentina players celebrate after booking their places in the semi-finals of the World Cup

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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