Tim Krul was introduced just for the penalty shoot-out and was decisive as the Netherlands ended Costa Rica’s World Cup dream.

Tim Krul was introduced just for the penalty shoot-out and was decisive as the Netherlands ended Costa Rica’s World Cup dream.

The Oranje had a 100 per cent record so far in the tournament, even if they needed a last-gasp comeback and penalty to beat Mexico 2-1 in the Round of 16. Nigel De Jong is out for a month with a groin strain, while the Costa Rican Coach warned referees to “watch out” for Arjen Robben’s diving. Los Ticos had already beaten Italy, Uruguay and Greece, but Oscar Duarte was suspended in defence.

Holland dominated possession from the get-go, but took a long time to create any real scoring opportunities. On 21 minutes Memphis Depay finished off a counter-attack with an angled drive from six yards, but Keylor Navas rushed off his line to parry, then blocked Wesley Sneijder’s follow-up too.

Depay again burst down the left and forced Navas to stick out a foot to save, but Costa Rica caused panic in the six-yard box with a well-worked free kick.

Navas had been in doubt for this game with a shoulder injury, but he flew across the face of goal to palm a Sneijder free kick out of the top corner and rushed out to smother at the feet of Robin Van Persie.

A free kick was pulled back for Sneijder to blast over, but Costa Rica threatened on the counter and Bruno Martins Indi ran a risk by nudging Joel Campbell in the back. The referee had a perfect view and waved play on.

Cristian Bolanos blasted a free kick off target, but another set play found a Giancarlo Gonzalez diving header over, as Los Ticos were much more dangerous in the second half. They lost Cristian Gamboa to injury, as he fell awkwardly and jarred his knee.

Gonzalez was booked for blocking Robben and Sneijder almost scored a stunning goal with that free kick, curling it on to the near upright from the outside corner of the box.

Navas was again decisive to parry a Van Persie angled drive from point-blank range, but RVP wasted an absolutely golden opportunity on 88 minutes. Sneijder curled a cross in and he hit a fresh-air shot from five yards.

There were four minutes of stoppages in which Junior Diaz was fortunate not to receive a second yellow for tripping Robben. Holland somehow didn’t score when a free kick wasn’t dealt with, it fell to Van Persie from six yards and his shot found a desperate Yeltsin Tejeda goalline clearance that kicked it on to the underside of the bar.

This quarter-final will go into extra time, but the Netherlands have never won any of their previous four World Cup ties that were decided after 90 minutes.

Navas was decisive again with a save on Ron Vlaar’s glancing header, then Dirk Kuyt failed to make the most of a corner. Costa Rica had a strong penalty shout for Vlaar clipping Marcos Urena’s heel, but the referee waved play on.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar was thrown on after the huge difference he made as a substitute against Mexico in the Round of 16.

Costa Rica looked more likely to score in the second half of extra time, as Vlaar blocked Bolanos on two different solo efforts and Jasper Cillessen used his legs to parry from Urena.

It was wide open, as neither side seemed willing to go to penalties and Sneijder curled a magnificent strike on to the crossbar at the 118th minute.

Louis Van Gaal introduced goalkeeper Tim Krul just for the shoot-out, as Cillessen has never saved a spot-kick in his career, but the number one shot-stopper looked understandably unhappy. It was Krul’s first appearance in this World Cup.

Krul’s first attempt failed, as Celso Borges scored, but the Newcastle goalkeeper did get on the end of a Bryan Ruiz spot-kick.

Robben, Van Persie, Gonzalez, Sneijder, Bolanos and Dirk Kuyt converted, but Krul flew to palm away the final Costa Rica kick from Umana and proved Van Gaal right with that substitution.

Netherlands 0-0 Costa Rica (aet, 4-3 on pens)

Penalties: Borges (goal, C), Van Persie (goal, N), Ruiz (saved, C), Robben (goal, N), Gonzalez (goal, C), Sneijder (goal, N), Bolanos (goal, C), Kuyt (goal, N), Umana (saved, C)

Netherlands: Cillessen (Krul 121); De Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi (Huntelaar 106); Kuyt, Wijnaldum, Sneijder, Blind; Robben, Van Persie, Depay (Lens 76)

Costa Rica: Navas; Gamboa (Myrie 79), Umana, Gonzalez, Acosta, Diaz; Ruiz, Borges, Tejeda (Cubero 97), Bolanos; Campbell (Urena 66)

Ref: Irmatov (UZB)

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