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’s 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.
Sneijder hit the post with a free kick in the 80th minute and sent a curling shot over Navas and off the crossbar before the penalty shootout.
At the end, however, Navas could not stop any of the four Dutch penalties as veterans Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt all scored.
“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.