Monday 17 January 2022

Oranje make it to the semi-finals: what the Dutch papers say

Holland kept their cool in the war of attrition against Costa Rica and are through to the semi-finals – What the Dutch papers say.

Trainer Louis van Gaal’s unprecedented decision to substitute goal keeper Cillessen and bring in ‘penalty killer’ Tim Krul says it all, writes the Volkskrant.

‘The embrace between goal keeper coach Frans Hoek and Van Gaal shows this was all part of the master plan. This championship is the project of Louis van Gaal, the genius who keeps winning.’

Krul knew he would be called upon to stop the penalties but ‘Cillesessen had no idea hence his anger’, the paper writes. ‘Van Gaal did not want him to play in the knowledge he would be substituted because it would be a disappointment. And Krul was fantastic, as were earlier subsitutes Depay, Fer and Huntelaar’, the paper concludes.

‘Sensation in Salvador!!!’ is AD’s headline. The paper quotes a beaming Dirk Kuyt, who netted the 4th penalty. ‘It will be death or gladioli. We’re doing great and I think we can beat any opponent, including Argentina! No doubt the stadium will be full of Argentinians. It’s going to be a great game.’

AD is not too pleased with Oranje’s performance away from the penalty spot. ‘Oranje missed at least a dozen scoring opportunities, with Robin van Persie spoiling the best of them’, the paper writes.

NRC saw a ‘frustrating match in which the Dutch team were unable to find a chink in the Costa Rican wall. Robben was a constant threat and did well but even he could not force a break through. Costa Rica it seemed had decided to play for penalties from the beginning of the second half.’

Trouw has been digging in the archives and found that the Dutch record against its next opponent Argentina is encouraging. ‘Of the previous eight matches against Argentina the Dutch lost only one, although it has to be said that the one game they lost was by far the most important of them all: the World Cup final of ’78’, the paper writes.

‘Of the seven other matches against the ‘Albicelestes’ Oranje won 4 and 3 ended in a draw. The last time Oranje played Argentina was in the 2006 World Cup. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.’

Some 7.5 million people watched the game, the paper writes, and mobile phone providers reported a sharp rise in internet, phone and sms traffic after Tim Krul’s final save.

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