Costa Rica's Cristian Gamboa (white jersey) and Arjen Robben of the Netherlands compete for the ball during their FIFA World Cup quarterfinal at Arena Fonte Nova on July 5, 2014, in Salvador, Brazil. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
SALVADOR, Brazil – Tim Krul made two diving saves as the Netherlands advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, outlasting Costa Rica 4-3 on penalty kicks after the sides battled to a 0-0 draw on Saturday at Arena Fonte Nava.
The Newcastle United goalkeeper, who entered the match during stoppage time of the second extra-time period, used all of his 6-foot-4 frame to end the Ticos’ remarkable run in Brazil. The Dutch successfully converted each of their four attempts and will next face Argentina on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.
Both teams had chances to claim victory during the extra half hour of play.
In the 117th minute, Costa Rica’s Marco Ureña went on a 30-yard run into the penalty area only to see his shot from seven-yards be blocked by goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
Two minutes later, the excellent Wesley Sneijder nearly provided a timely response, curling a right-footed effort from 20 yards off the crossbar.
Once again, Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas was in scintillating form. The Levante standout made a timely one-handed save in 29th minute off a left-footed drive by Memphis Depay.
The Netherlands found another gear in the final 10 minutes of normal time, but was thwarted by Navas, the woodwork or hard luck.
In the 82nd minute, Wesley Sneijder’s left-sided free kick in close proximity to the top let corner of the 18-yard box went over the wall, dipped and crashed off the left post.
Two minutes later, the ball fell to Robin Van Persie in the right side of the box. The Manchester United star snapped a shot from six yards that Navas did well to impede.
Van Persie should have the netted the game-winner in the 88th minute. A superb left-sided delivery from Sneijder found the 30-year-old at the right post. Rather than concentrate on the ball, though, he seemed more intent on drawing contact with the defender behind him and couldn’t connect.
Costa Rica’s Yeltsin Tejeda provided the heroics in the third minute of stoppage time, clearing a Van Persie effort off the line. The ball then shot upwards off the crossbar’s underside and, ultimately, away from danger.
The Central American champion departs Brazil officially undefeated with a tournament record of two wins and three draws in five games, including two penalty-kick shootouts.