Wednesday 08 December 2021

Dutch beat Costa Rica on penalties, face Argentina in semi-final

The Netherlands moved into the semi-finals of the football World Cup on Saturday after beating Costa Rica on penalties.

The match was still 0-0 after extra time, forcing the game into a penalty shoot out which Oranje won 4-3.

Oranje dominated much of the game and were unlucky not to have scored twice in the second half.

They meet Argentina in the semi-final on Wednesday. Argentina beat Belgium 1-0 in a lacklustre game earlier on Saturday night.

The other semi-final is between Brazil and Germany.

Boyhood dream

Oranje’s substitute keeper Tim Krul, brought on by coach Louis van Gaal at the end of the match, said victory was a ‘boyhood dream’. ‘This is what you work towards for seven weeks,’ he said. ‘But you need all 23 players. It is fantastic what a team we are.’

Striker Robin van Persie described the match as a ‘roller coaster’. ‘We went from one to the other emotion,’ he said. ‘Then you really have to be strong.’

BBC commentator Kevin Kilbane described Van Gaal’s decision to bring on Krul just before the end of extra time as ‘brave’.

‘I think that shows there is unity in the squad. You rarely ever see it in a penalty shootout and it’s a masterstoke really, a touch of genius,’ he said.

Match report

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