Van Gaal leads Dutch into World Cup semifinals

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 5, 2014 at 8:12 pm •  Published: July 5, 2014
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SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Louis van Gaal made the call, and Tim Krul made the saves.

In another move that will only add to his reputation as a tactical mastermind, the Netherlands coach led his team into the World Cup semifinals after bringing on Krul with seconds remaining in extra time.

Moments later, Krul saved two penalties in a 4-3 shootout victory over Costa Rica, making the Manchester United-bound Van Gaal again look like a football genius.

"It worked out," Van Gaal said Saturday after his team played Costa Rica to a 0-0 draw through extra time. "That was beautiful. I'm a bit proud of that."

Jasper Cillessen had started in goal for the Dutch team, but Van Gaal made the decision to pull him after 120 minutes of scoreless football and replace him with Krul.

The Newcastle goalkeeper, who really only touched the ball twice all game, saved the second and fifth penalties, and guessed the correct way on all five.

"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."

In the semifinals, the Netherlands will face Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.

Although Krul made the decisive stops in the shootout, it was Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas that was the star of the match.

Navas made a string of saves to keep the attacking Dutch scoreless for 90 minutes of regulation time and 30 minutes of extra time.

His night, however, will forever be overshadowed by Krul, and by Van Gaal.

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