Netherlands defeat Costa Rica in penalty shootout to reach Semi Finals

After a nil-all draw in extra-time the Netherlands proved more decisive in a penalty shoot out to get past Costa Rica 4-3 at Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador to set up a tantalising semi final clash against Argentina.

The Dutch side was expected to win this match comfortably, but the Costa Ricans had different ideas, resisting everything the Netherlands through at them for the whole 120 minutes, including extra-time, largely due to the outstanding work of Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas, one of the finds of the tournament.

In what would be a match winning move by Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal during the penalty shoot out, he replaced first choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with substitute Tim Krul.

Krul stepped up to the plate to save two Costa Rica penalties and send the Netherlands through to the semi finals, ending the couragious run of their unfancied Central American opponents.

The Netherlands, a three-time runner-up at this tournament, including four years ago against Spain in South Africa, reach a second successive World Cup semi final, and only Argentina stand between them and another chance at their elusive holy grail of football.

Netherland 0 – 0 Costa Rica

Penalty shoot-out (4 – 3)

Robin van Persie 1 – 1  Celso Borges
Arjen Robben 2 – 1 ball-miss Bryan Ruiz
Wesley Sneijder 3 – 2  Geancarlo Gonzalez
Dirk Kuyt 4 – 3  Christian Bolanos
4 – 3 ball-miss Michael Umana

37m Junior Diaz (CR)
52m Michael Umana (CR)
64m Bruno Martins Indi (NET)
81m Geancarlo Gonzalez (CR)
107m Johnny Acosta (CR)
111m Klaas Jan Huntelaar (NET)

NETHERLANDS team: Jasper Cillessen 120m, Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi 106m, Daley Blind, Dirk Kuyt, Georginio Wijnaldum, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Memphis Depay 76m, Robin van Persie
76m Jeremain Lens
106m Klaas Jan Huntelaar
120m Tim Krul

COSTA RICA team: Keylor Navas, Geancarlo Gonzalez, Johnny Acosta, Michael Umana, Yeltsin Tejeda 97m, Celso Borges, Junior Diaz, Cristian Gamboa 79m, Christian Bolanos, Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell 66m
66m Marco Urena
79m Dave Myrie
97m Jose Miguel Cubero

The Netherlands will now play Argentina in a World Cup Semi Final on Wednesday 9th July 2014 for the right to play off in the 2014 World Cup Final against either Germany or Brazil.

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Filed Under: 2014 World Cup