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Tim Krul Makes World Cup History

6 years ago
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Tim Krul went down in World Cup folklore, helping to win Holland a place in the semi-finals.

While the Costa Rica clash with the Netherlands wasn’t a feast of attacking football, it was gripping in so many ways.

The Dutch were the dominant team but Costa Rica had a disciplined plan which also included the capacity to break and have their own threats on goal.

The ninety minutes ended with no goals.

Extra time saw a similar pattern as the first ninety until Costa Rica almost grabbed what would have been a remarkable victory and one of the most remarkable World Cup underdog stories ever.

With only four minutes of extra time left, substitute striker Marcos Urena outpaced the tired Dutch defenders and from 12 yards out looked a certain scorer, only for the up to then largely untroubled Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen to make a cracking save, which in the process kept Holland’s World Cup alive.

However, Cillessen’s match saving stop coincided with the surprising sight of Tim Krul warming up, why would this be happening when clearly the Dutch number one wasn’t injured….?

Sure enough, in the last normal minute of extra time, Krul was waiting at the side of the pitch with the fourth official, outrageously Louis Van Gaal was bringing Newcastle United’s Tim Krul on, purely for the penalty shootout.

There then became a farcical gripping period when the ball stayed in play and the possibility that the final whistle would sound with Tim Krul left standing helpless and still yet to experience the World Cup on the pitch.

However, with 120 minutes 53 seconds on the clock, play stopped and Krul came on – 44 seconds later the final whistle blew without the Newcastle keeper touching the ball.

So to the shootout, this move by Louis Van Gaal must surely be as much pyschological as anything else, with Tim Krul having a pretty terrible two from twenty success rate at Newcastle when it comes to saving penalties.

Both Costa Rica and Holland score their first attempts.

As this penalty shootout story unfolds, we see the strange sight of Tim getting right in the faces of the opposition penalty takers with verbals, clearly attempting to put them off, with the referee doing little to stop it. This is so out of character, it can only have been something worked on with the management and pre-planned.

Whether it does have an affect you never know but the second Costa Rican penalty isn’t great and Tim Krul saves, advantage Holland.

The next five penalties are successful, leaving the score 4-3 to Holland and Marcos Urena having to score to make Holland take their last of five.

Krul’s sledging of the opponents is immaterial this time as the Costa Rica striker hits a great penalty to Krul’s left but Newcastle’s number one pulls off an outstanding save and the Netherlands are through to the World Cup semi-finals.

What a story and what a moment for Tim Krul, having had to sit through three weeks of World Cup action as a spectator like the rest of us.

While Jasper Cillessen was expressive in his show of elation in the end result, the Dutch manager has created a bit of a truly mad situation.

There appears little doubt that Cillessen will remain number one and face Argentina on Wednesday but just think of the situation if say Holland end up facing hosts Brazil next Sunday in the final and a similar situation develops?

Surely Louis Van Gaal would do exactly the same again but in the meantime, what has happened must be playing very funny tricks inside Jasper Cillessen’s head.

A great World Cup and after Newcastle United’s active interest appeared to end with Germany’s defeat of France, the dream lives on for Holland, Krul (and Cillessen) and Newcastle United’s vicarious involvement in the biggest football occasion of all.

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