Netherlands outlast Costa Rica on penalties

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Salvador, Brazil (4E Sports) – The Netherlands gamble to replace Jasper Cillessen with Tim Krul as goalkeeper paid off as they beat Costa Rica on penalties, 4-3 Saturday at Arena Fonte Nova.

An aggressive Dutch side dominated possession in the first half but could hardly penetrate the Costa Rican defensive zone.

When they did, goalkeeper Keylor Navas provided an effective last zone of defense.

It was the same story in second period until the last 10 minutes.

As the match was winding down, Marco Urena surged past two men before escaping Stefan de Vrij and launched a roccket that was saved by Cillessen. The Netherlands answered with Wesley Sneijder hitting the bar from long-range and Arjen Robben’s follow-up getting blocked.

With penalties looming, Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal sent Tim Krul to replacd Jasper Cillessen as goalkeeper.

Robin Van Persie and Celso Borges both converted their penalties for their respective countries to start the shootout.

Then Krul was able to save against Bryan Ruiz as Arjen Robbins connected to give the Netherlands a 2-1 advantage.

A goal by Giancarlo Gonzalez was answered by Sneijder as the Dutch kept a 3-2 lead approaching the final four kicks.

Christian Bolanos and Dirk Kuyt then converted their respective goals.

When Míchael Umana stepped up to take his, Krul once again made the save to seal a Dutch victory.

The Netherlands will play Argentina Wednesday in the semifinals in Sao Paulo.

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