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Not even Navas can rescue Costa Rica this time

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 5, 2014 at 8:20 pm •  Published: July 5, 2014

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Not even Keylor Navas could rescue Costa Rica this time.

The goalkeeper who made so many wonderful saves in this World Cup was outclassed in the penalty shootout that decided the quarterfinal against the Netherlands.

But for 120 minutes — and for most of Costa Rica's previous four matches at the tournament — Navas simply couldn't be beat.

In the first half alone Saturday, Navas made four saves that helped earn him the man of the match award, even after the Dutch won a shootout 4-3 after a 0-0 draw marked by 120 minutes of Dutch dominance.

In the 29th minute, Navas denied Memphis Depay with his boot.

Ten minutes later his diving, one-handed, effort to swat away a free kick from Wesley Sneijder would have stood as the save of the night if Tim Krul had not stopped two Costa Rica penalties in the shootout.

And there were plenty more saves, too, all the way through extra time.

But in the shootout, the Netherlands converted all four of their spot kicks.

"Of course you want to stop the penalty, but they shot better and I could not stop them," Navas said.

Still, that shouldn't cast a shadow on what Navas did against Uruguay, Italy and England in the group stage — or on the class he displayed against Greece and the Netherlands for 120 minutes in the knockout stages.

It was largely thanks to Navas and an impenetrable defense that Costa Rica reached the last eight for the first time.

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