Three out of four teams in the World Cup semifinals had been determined Netherlands and Costa Rica were squaring off to find out who’d get the last spot. The Netherlands had been fairly dominant through their run in the the group stage, dominating the defending champions Spain 5-1 in the opener.
Costa Rica gave the Netherlands a run for their money and neither team was able to get through and score a goal for the majority of the game. It certainly looked like the Netherlands were in the lead and controlling the temp of the game for most of the time.
The Netherlands dominated possession with over 65 percent late in the second half, but weren’t peppering Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas quite like Tim Howard got peppered by Belgium.
The closest scoring chance for the Netherlands might have come in the 82nd minute when a shot from Wesley Sneijder hit the post, just centimeters away from going in and giving them a lead.
In the 88th minute Robin van Persie was in position to bury a cross to the back post from Arjen Robben. Van Persie whiffed and wasn’t able to connect and get a shot off.
In stoppage time it looked like there as going to be another opportunity for Van Persie to give his team the win. The ball crossed through the box in a few yards out and somehow no one got a foot on it till it found Van Persie at the back post. Van Persie got a foot on it and a defender on the goal line prevented it from going in and the ball deflected up hitting the cross bar and out.
Things took a bad turn in the first period of extra time, the Costa Rican goalkeeper got tangled up with a Dutch player and hit the ground. He was down for a while and being attended to and it looked like a substitute might be coming on by Navas stayed in.
Ultimately the extra periods went the same way the first 90 minutes did, and ended in a scoreless draw. It was the only game in the quarterfinals to go to penalty kicks. In a tactical move, the Netherlands subbed on Tim Krul for Jasper Cillessen in goal in the final moments of extra time. Krul is two inches taller than Cillessen.
Costa Rica stepped up first and Celso Borges gave his team the lead.
Robin van Persie was up first for the Dutch, and went to the bottom right corner and scored. Navas went that direction but couldn’t get there cause the ball was placed perfectly.
Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz went the same direction as van Persie did but Tim Krul made the save.
Arjen Robben gave the Netherlands the lead.
Giancarlo González went to the right post and scored to pull level. Krul went that direction but didn’t make the save and it looked like Krul was trash talking before and after the penalty kick.
Wesley Sneijder buried his penalty kick going left and Navas went right. The Netherlands were holding a 3-2 advantage after three kickers had gone for each team.
Christian Bolaños went to the top left corner and scored. Krul guessed the right direction but wasn’t able to get there in time to make a save. Costa Rica desperately needed a save to stay in the game.
Dirk Kuyt went left for the Netherlands and buried it putting the pressure on Costa Rica. Michael Umaña took the final kick and needed to score to stay in it. Umaña went right and it was saved by Krul and the Netherlands won on penalty kicks. They’ll play Argentina in the semifinals.