It hasn’t been the smoothest of rides as he adapts to first team football once again but Tim Krul is once again a hero for Dutch football fans.

Well, at least those who support AZ Alkmaar.

At his seventh time of asking, Tim Krul kept a first clean sheet for the loan club.

A bruising 18 goals picked out of the net in his first half dozen matches, Tim Krul and AZ were up against Cambuur on Thursday night for a place in the KNVB Cup Final.

Tim Krul proved to be the hero in a penalty shoot-out as AZ Alkmaar saw off Cambuur and booked a meeting with Vitesse in the KNVB Cup final.

Krul’s opponents are only sixth in the Dutch second tier but had already knocked out Ajax and Utrecht in earlier rounds.

AZ Alkmaar dominated their lower league opponents but couldn’t find the net and as the match wore on, Cambuur had a few chances of their own and Tim Krul made some excellent saves to keep his goal intact.

Extra time followed a similar pattern and two hours of football had produced no goals, AZ having to play the final eight minutes with only 10 men after a red card for one of the Newcastle keeper’s teammates.

It is almost three years since Tim Krul got his place in Dutch football history with that dramatic penalty shootout success that took Holland into the World Cup semi-final at the expense of Costa Rica.

This time it was a smaller stage but with the same outcome, the two sides only converting two out of their first four spot-kicks before Weghorst scored for AZ and Tim Krul saved Barto’s fifth for Cambuur.

Tim Krul once again the hero of the hour and after he turns 29 on 3 April, the Newcastle loan player can look forward to the KNVB Cup Final on 30 April, which will be against Vitesse Arnhem and played at De Kuip, home of Feyenoord.

Tim Krul’s seven matches at AZ Alkmaar so far:

AZ 2 PSV 4

Heerenveen 1 AZ 2

AZ 1 Lyon 4

Willem ll 1 AZ 1

Lyon 7 AZ 1

AZ 1 PEC Zwolle 1

AZ 0 Cambuur 0 (AZ win 3-2 on penalties)