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Netherlands Manager Louis Van Gaal Explains Controversial Tim Krul Substitution

Dutch boss says change was pre-planned.

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Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has revealed he always intended to change goalkeepers if his side’s match with Costa Rica went to penalties, BBC Sport reports.

In one of the most surprising incidents of the whole World Cup so far, van Gaal used his last remaining substitution in yesterday’s quarter-final clash to swap his first-choice keeper Jasper Cillessen for Newcastle United’s Tim Krul right at the end of extra time.

Despite Cillessen’s strong performance throughout the 120 minutes, the Dutch coach felt that Krul was the right choice as a penalty-saving specialist, and has explained that this idea was discussed with the players beforehand.

The move seemed to pay off, with Krul attempting to play mind games with each of the Costa Rica penalty takers, and then saving two of the five spot-kicks he faced to help his side through to the semi-finals of the competition, where they will face Argentina for a place in the final.

Although the 26-year-old shot-stopper will continue to be on the bench for this tournament, he admitted it was a dream to have his moment to be a hero in a crucial World Cup game.

“It’s a dream,” he said after the game. “You see the boys running up to you after the last save and it’s just a dream come true.”

Asked if he was prepared to be brought on, he said: “I knew from today, before the game. The goalkeeping coach came up to me and said if we’ve got a substitution left that you could be the one that has to come on and do it.”

His manager also confirmed that the decision was thought out before the game, saying: “We thought this through beforehand. Every player in my selection has certain skills and qualities and they don’t always coincide.

“We felt, all of us, that Tim Krul would be the most appropriate keeper to stop penalties.”

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