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Super-sub puts Dutch into semis

by Talek Harris

Substitute goalkeeper Tim Krul saved two penalties in a dramatic shoot-out yesterday, as the Netherlands edged Costa Rica 4-3 to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands (R) takes a freekick against Costa Rica during their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRAZIL  - Tags: SOCCER SPORT WORLD CUP)Costa Rica's Cristian Gamboa (front) falls in front of teammate Michael Umana (back) and Arjen Robben of the Netherlands during their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRAZIL  - Tags: SOCCER SPORT WORLD ...Robin van Persie (L) and teammate Arjen Robben of the Netherlands celebrate their penalty shootout win against Costa Rica in their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador July 5, 2014.  REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRAZIL  - Tags: SOCCER SPORT WORLD C ...

After a goalless 120 minutes, the towering Newcastle United custodian came on at the end of extra time and he saved from Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana to win the quarter-final for the Dutch.

It was another masterstroke from Manchester United-bound coach Louis van Gaal, who despite his ingenuity was unable to engineer a breakthrough in normal and extra time.

Costa Rica rarely threatened and appeared content to play for penalties, their strong suit after goalkeeper Keylor Navas kept out Greece in a shoot-out in the last 16.

But their bluff was called and after Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt all buried their kicks, the outstretched Krul denied Umana to seal the win.

Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto was proud at his team's contribution to the World Cup. - SAPA AFP

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