HOLLAND 0 – 0 COSTA RICA
This really should have been a victory for Holland within the 90 minutes. The game dragged on and on and on for the full 90 minutes and beyond with no goals, even in the added 30 minutes the two teams had to play.
Just as I had not wanted Costa Rica to win the last 16, I also did not want the team that qualified ahead of England from Group D to win in the Quarter Final and was rooting for the Dutch to show their goalscoring abilities, like in their previous game against Spain where they scored five goals. It did not go as I had hoped though.
Both teams had opportunities of their own to score, but the goalkeepers did their jobs well and would deny any and all chances for the opponent to put the ball in the net.
It would be another World Cup penalty shootout then which would decide the winner of the Quarter Final and who would progress into the Semi Final for an opportunity to beat their next opponent and move on to the World Cup Final.
It would be in the 120th minute in which the Holland (and soon to be Manchester United) manager Louis Van Gaal would make a tactical substitution as he replaced his goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with experienced Premier League player Tim Krul and despite not playing with the rest of the team for the entire match, the Newcastle goalkeeper would come on for the task of saving penalties.
Here’s how the penalty shoot out would go down, goal by goal:
Celso Borges (Costa Rica) converts the first penalty with a powerful right footed shot to the bottom right corner to give his country the lead. Netherlands 0, Costa Rica 1
Robin van Persie (Netherlands) would take a not very accurate penalty that although it looked like could miss and the Costa Rican goalkeeper went the right way, found its way into the net with power as a left footed shot went into the bottom right corner. If it had been any further to the right, it would have hit the right goalpost. The Dutch are lucky and have their first goal. Netherlands 1, Costa Rica 1
Penalty saved! Bryan Ruiz (who has probably been the best Costa Rican player of the entire tournament) fails to score his penalty as Louis Van Gaal’s choice to bring on Tim Krul seems to be paying off already as Ruiz’s left footed shot is saved in the bottom right corner. Netherlands 1, Costa Rica 1
Arjen Robben (Netherlands) steps up next as the penalty taker and the ex – Groningen, ex- PSV, ex- Chelsea, ex- Real Madrid and now current Bayern Munich player smashes a powerful left footed shot into the top left corner, giving his country the lead for the first time in this shootout. Netherlands 2, Costa Rica 1
Giancarlo Gonzalez (Costa Rica) scores his penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner and Costa Rica draw level with the Dutch. Netherlands 2, Costa Rica 2
Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands) will be the next Dutch player to take a penalty and he calmly puts it accurately into the net with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner, giving his country the lead once more. Netherlands 3, Costa Rica 2
Christian Bolaños (Costa Rica) converts his penalty with an accurately placed right footed shot to the top left corner. Netherlands 3, Costa Rica 3
Dirk Kuyt (Netherlands) steps up to take the penalty and the ex- Liverpool player looks like he almost slips as he runs up to the penalty spot but he manages to score with a powerful right footed shot to the bottom left corner. Costa Rica must score their next penalty now as they have already been denied once and cannot afford to stay on 3 goals scored as the Dutch grabbed their fourth already and wouldn’t even need to score again to win. Netherlands 4, Costa Rica 3
Penalty saved! Michael Umaña (Costa Rica) is denied by the Dutch goalkeeper as his right footed shot is brilliantly saved in the bottom right corner. Costa Rica lose on penalties (Netherlands 4, Costa Rica 3) as Tim Krul becomes the newest Dutch World Cup hero and Holland will now face Argentina on the 9th July for the Semi Final and their chance to go through to the World Cup Final is finally here. WHO else can say that they have achieved that this year? Only Brazil, Germany and Argentina.
KEY PLAYERS: you kidding me? bringing on TIM KRUL in the 120th minute for the penalty shootout was the best decision the Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal made in the entire game.
Costa Rica really had given their all and despite my feelings about them qualifying out of Group D (while England did not), I still feel sorry for Bryan Ruiz who has been the main man for his country in most if not all games they played in this tournament. You win some, you lose some, Costa Rica.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red. I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (about 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.
I’m a die hard Liverpool fan (only supported ONE club in my whole life, Liverpool) and one of the most dedicated fans you’ll ever meet.