The quarterfinal match between Netherlands and Costa Rica was a battle of the goal keepers and in the end, last minute substitute Tim Krul literally saved the day for the Netherlands who took the win after a penalty shoot-out. The Dutch have taken out Costa Rica and have ensured an even split of European and South American nations in the semi-finals as they prepare to face Argentina and Germany set out to go against host nation Brazil.
Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica
Netherlands win on penalties 4-3
The star of the first half was Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas who managed to keep a clean sheet despite a relentless Dutch attack that came at him from all directions. Arjen Robben, Dirk Kuyt, Robin Van Persie and Memphis Depay all managed to make attempts on goal only to be foiled by Navas who seemed to be challenging USA's Tim Howard for the goal saving record.
The start of the second half saw another Dutch attempt but the Costa Ricans were prepared to defend and launch their own offense. They were able to bring the ball down to the Dutch goal but failed to challenge Jasper Cillessen as their shots went off target.
Wesley Sneijder managed to hit the post off a free kick with eight minutes left but with little time left, neither one of the teams were able to avoid going into extra time. The last attempt was made by Dutch captain Van Persie, who fired from close range in stoppage time, only to see his shot deflected to the bar.
Costa Rica were able to find some chances in extra time which looked like they could take the victory from the Oranje who had so far been dominating the match. Dutch keeper Cillessen was finally able to show off his skills to make a brilliant save and keep the Costa Ricans from taking the lead.
As time was running out, the Netherlands brought in Tim Krul to man the goal in place of Cillessen in an act of foresight as Van Gaal looked towards penalties.
The Dutch had obviously prepared for a possible penalty shoot-out and the move to bring in Tim Krul to man the goal proved to be well-thought of as he proved himself well by saving two attempts by the Costa Ricans from Ruiz and Urena. The shoot-out ended 4-3 in favour of the Dutch who will now be heading to Sao Paulo in a bid to overcome Argentina and make it to their second consecutive World Cup final .