Substitute Goalkeeper Tim Krul saved two Costa Rican penalties as Netherlands won a tight contest 4-2 on penalties after 120 minutes of gruelling action.
The Newcastle United goalkeeper was a substitute in the last minute of the second half of extra time, and he repaid his manger’s faith by saving Ruiz and Umana’s penalties to send his side through.
Costa Rica stubbornly held on amidst a relentless Dutch onslaught, Wesley Sneidjer hitting the bar twice,and Costa Rica coming very close to winning it deep into extra time, Umana’s shot saved from point blank by Dutch goalkeeper Cillessen.
European giants Netherlands squared up against the tournament’s surprise package knowing that underestimating their opponents might leave them victim of a smash and grab robbery such as Italy and Uruguay can attest to.
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal lined his team up in their now familiar 3-4-3 formation, heavily reliant on the wing play of Arjen Robben and Memphis Depay.
The goalless opening 45 minutes belied an intriguing game that featured lots of running and little clear cut chances.
The game started at a blistering pace, both sides having pacy players very comfortable on the ball, but despite a lot of running from both sides little clear cut chances were being created.