The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 6, 2014

Netherlands gets past Costa Rica in penalty shootout

SALVADOR, Brazil — Tim Krul came on as a substitute in the final minute of extra time and then saved two penalties in a 4-3 shootout victory over Costa Rica on Saturday, giving the Netherlands a spot in the World Cup semifinals.

Krul saved spot kicks from Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana after the match had finished 0-0.

“We had a lot of chances but it didn’t go in,” Krul said on Dutch television. “Then I come in, stop two penalties and here we are.”

In another stroke of tactical genius at this year’s World Cup, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal pulled Jasper Cillessen moments after the Ajax goalkeeper had saved a shot from Marcos Urena in extra time.

“The trick is good,” said Krul, who plays for Newcastle. “A lot of preparation went into it.”

The Dutch team will next face Argentina in the semifinals on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.

Krul looked super confident during the shootout at the Arena Fonte Nova, saving the second and fifth penalties by diving to his left and sticking out his hand.

When Krul stopped Ruiz’s penalty, Cillessen, watching from the sideline, punched the air in celebration.

When he saved the second to win the match, Cillessen out-sprinted the rest of the bench to get to Krul, who was already being mobbed by jubilant teammates who had watched from the halfway line.

“We thought it all through,” Van Gaal said. “We all thought that Tim Krul was the best keeper to stop penalties. He is taller and has a longer reach. We prepared for the Costa Rica penalties just as we prepared for our own penalties.”

Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas had kept his team in the match with a string of great saves in the first half and again in extra time. When Wesley Sneijder twice beat him late in regulation and again in the second half of extra time, the woodwork made the stop.

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