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Argentina keeper Martinez: That ref was useless

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez slammed the ref after Argentina's World Cup shootout victory over Holland.

There were an astonishing 14 bookings over the course of 128 minutes – six for the Netherlands, eight for Argentina – plus a yellow card for Argentina assistant Walter Samuel and a red card for Denzel Dumfries.

Martinez took delight in eliminating The Netherlands – a repeat of the outcome of the 2014 semi-final in Brazil – and claimed he had heard Louis van Gaal, who ended his reign as coach, saying spot-kicks were all part of his plan after they had come from 2-0 down to force extra-time.

"It was a tricky game," said Martinez. "I thought we controlled the game really well. We went 2-0 up, basically we controlled the game. The referee was just giving everything for them. All of a sudden they get a good header, a good flick, which I couldn't see and then it just turned upside down.

"The referee gave everything for them. He gave 10 minutes [added time] for no reason. He was giving free-kicks outside the box for them, like two, three times. He just wanted them to score, that's basically it. So, hopefully we don't have him that ref anymore. He's useless."



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