BRASILIA: Super-sub goalkeeper Tim Krul was the hero as the Netherlands ended their penalty shoot-out jinx to beat Costa Rica and set up a World Cup semi-final showdown with Argentina on Saturday.
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Dutch coach Louis van Gaal stunned onlookers at Salvador’s Fonte Nova Arena by bringing on Krul to replace Jasper Cillessen in the final seconds of extra-time after 120 minutes had finished deadlocked at 0-0.
But van Gaal’s audacious move to introduce Krul paid dividends as the Newcastle keeper saved Costa Rican penalties from Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana to send the Dutch through into a last four meeting with Argentina in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.
Holland had won only one penalty shoot-out in five previous attempts at major championships.
But penalty takers Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt all made no mistake from the spot to beat Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The unforgettable shoot-out drama came after a gritty duel which saw the Netherlands dominate for long periods without being able to score.