Photo: Netherlands vs Costa Rica
The Netherlands prevailed over Costa Rica 4-3 on penalties here Saturday in their World Cup quarterfinal after a scoreless 120-plus minutes that featured an epic performance by Ticos’ goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Costa Rica’s Cinderella story ended when Dutch substitute keeper Tim Krull - sent in with seconds left in overtime - turned aside Michael Umaña’s shot.
Krull had earlier stopped Bryan Ruiz, while Celso Borges, Giancarlo Gonzalez and Christian Bolaños all converted for Costa Rica.
Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt connected for the Netherlands.
The Costa Rican keeper came into the match having allowed only 2 goals in four matches.
Navas made several spectacular saves, stopping Van Persie and Sneijder in quick succession in the 21st minute, and he also got some help from the posts and crossbar.
Costa Rica’s hero was pressed again in the closing minutes of overtime, as the Dutch - losers in previous World Cup penalty shootouts - sought to end the match with a goal.
The Netherlands will face Argentina in the semifinal, a reprise of the 1978 final that brought the South American side the first of their two World Cups.
The Dutch, who lost to Spain in the 2010 final, are still looking for their first title.
The host nation, five-time World Cup winner Brazil, will square off with three-time champion Germany in the other semifinal.