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Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica (Pens 4-3): Dutch through to semis after Krul gamble pays off


Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica (Pens 4-3): Dutch through to semis after Krul gamble pays off

Tim Krul was an unlikely hero as the Netherlands secured a 4-3 shootout win over Costa Rica to book a FIFA World Cup semifinal place.
Over 120 goalless minutes in Salvador, Louis van Gaal’s team struck the post or crossbar on three occasions and the Manchester United-bound manager unleashed an unexpected secret weapon from the bench during the dying seconds of extra time.
Krul, who has an unremarkable penalty record at Newcastle United, came on for Jasper Cillessen to save Costa Rica’s second and last penalties from Celso Borges and Michael Umana. Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt were the Netherlands’ flawless foursome.
It ends a remarkable journey for Costa Rica, which won a group featuring Uruguay, Italy and England before beating Greece on spot kicks. But this proved a step too far as the Dutch, who had lost four of their previous five shootouts in major tournaments, banished their demons from 12 yards to book a semifinal appointment with Argentina
Costa Rica combined the organization and attacking verve that has been the team’s hallmark in Brazil, but ambition going forward left the Ticos exposed to the Netherlands’ incision on the break and indebted to inspirational goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Jorge Luis Pinto’s team was in a confident mood as the game entered its final stages before Sneijder rattled the post from a free kick to herald a late onslaught.
But Van Persie proved uncharacteristically wasteful in spurning three goalscoring opportunities, including one close-range sitter, as the Netherlands failed in a bid to avoid an extra half hour.
Sneijder crashed a shot into the bar, while Costa Rica substitute Michael Urena threatened to snatch the headlines that would ultimately be Krul’s.
Memphis Depay, starting having twice netted from the bench in this tournament, gave Van Persie the game’s first clear opening in the 21st minute but Navas closed the angle well and stopped Sneijder’s follow up.
Navas saved well in the 29th minute as Van Persie and Depay reversed their earlier roles, while a frantic Dutch clearance as Johnny Acosta looked to turn home Celso Borges’ set piece knockdown underlined a developing end-to-end feel.
Sneijder took a more direct approach from a 38th-minute free kick, conceded by Junior Diaz, but Navas – quelled fears surrounding a shoulder injury that dogged him earlier in the week – clawed superbly around the post.
Robben’s admission that he dived during the Netherlands’ win over Mexico in the previous round dominated the pre-match build-up and Umana followed Diaz into the book after he too fouled the forward, who cleverly set up Sneijder to blaze over from the resulting 53rd-minute set play.

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3 Comments on "Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica (Pens 4-3): Dutch through to semis after Krul gamble pays off"

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chiboy okere


onyekwere prince

I feel for them

Victor Ndah

Not a good calling


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