Virgil van Dijk was left “very hurt” after the Netherlands were knocked out of the World Cup™ on penalties by Argentina on Friday.
Goals from Nahuel Molina and Lionel Messi looked to have Argentina coasting to the semi finals, but substitute Wout Weghorst scored twice late on to force the game into extra time.
Neither team could find a winner in the additional 30 minutes, but Emiliano Martinez saved from Van Dijk and then Steven Berghuis before Lautaro Martinez fired home the deciding spot kick to knock the Netherlands out.
Van Dijk spoke of his frustration at his team pulling themselves back into the contest, only to lose on penalties.
“I’m very disappointed that we’re out of the tournament, after a very eventful game,” the Liverpool star told reporters.
“We showed great character, we came back last 15 minutes, got extra time then it’s penalties.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t get the job done. We’re going home. I’m very sad about that, but that’s life. We lost on penalties, and that’s the thing that is difficult. It’s like a lottery.
“We practiced penalties a lot but unfortunately, he [Emiliano Martinez] made two great saves and we’re out.
“I think we were confident, but you can’t replicate a full stadium where 80,000 fans are whistling against you and a different goalie that you don’t face in training.”
Netherlands captain Van Dijk took the opening penalty of the shoot out, only to see his low effort saved by Emiliano Martinez down to the goalkeeper’s right.
When asked about his spot kick after the match, the centre-back said: “I never took it in the Premier League, so it’s quite difficult. It’s never easy, you’re under pressure, but I was looking forward to it, I was ready for it.
“He saved it, fair play to him. Bad for us, bad for me. I’m very sad, but unfortunately things like this happen in life and it’s about how you deal with it.
“I’ll be very sad for the next period and I’ll regroup, be with my family, and think about good things in life.
“These things happen unfortunately, you can miss. But it doesn’t mean you feel fine, I’m very hurt and I felt like I let my guys down a bit. It’s about turning that feeling into hunger for the rest of the season.”
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