Louis Van Gaal’s brave gamble paid off and the Netherlands Coach admits “it was an escape” against Mexico.

Louis Van Gaal’s brave gamble paid off and the Netherlands Coach admits “it was an escape” against Mexico.

The Dutch side had been trailing 1-0 until the 87th minute, when substitute Klaas Jan Huntelaar – who replaced star Robin Van Persie – provided an assist for Wesley Sneijder and then converted the winning penalty.

“It was an escape. In the second half we showed that we could create more chances,” confessed Van Gaal to FIFA.

“When we had this cooling break, it was when we could start with Plan B. I knew we were going to have this cooling break. We trained for this, with Huntelaar and with Dirk Kuyt up front and long deep balls.

“The group of players are very modest and we're going to continue the road that we have embarked on. We have an outstanding team spirit.”

Holland have on paper a clear route to the semi-final, as their next rivals will be the winners of tonight’s Greece-Costa Rica match.

“Whether it’s Greece or Costa Rica, these are very difficult opponents to beat otherwise they wouldn’t have ended up in the quarter-final.”

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