Netherlands edges Costa Rica, 4-3, in penalty kicks

The Dutch held off on their final substitution for a reason. Tim Krul comes on at keeper for Jasper Cillessen. The matchup is rusty but rested man in goal with one who is exhausted but in the zone. Costa Rica will lead off.

Round one of the shootout: Costa Rica's Celso Borges drives it into the right side of the net. The Netherlans' Robin Van Persie aims at the same spot and connects. It's 1-1.

Round two: The insertion of Krul pays off with a stop of Bryan Ruiz. Arjen Robben calmly goes to the left side as Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas leans the opposite way. The Dutch go ahead, 2-1.

Round three: Giancarlo Gonzalez chooses to go to the right. So does Krul, but he cannot get there in time. Another Dutch veteran, Wesley Sneijder, bangs it into the left side, easily bettering Navas. Dutch lead, 3-2.

Round four: Christian Bolanos' shot and Krul head the same way, toward the shooter's left. It's good. Dirk Kuyt steps up for the Dutch and fires low to the left. It's good, too. Dutch lead, 4-3.

Round five: Costa Rica's Michael Umana picks the right side for a target. Krul, who has calculated wisely throughout the shootout, does so again. He saves the shot and the day for the Dutch, who win the quarterfinal game, 4-3 on penalty kicks.


Costa Rica might welcome penalty kicks. The Dutch prefer to end it sooner, sending in forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for defender Bruno Martins Indi to start the second overtime period.

Netherlands forward Arjen Robben hits the turf hard yet again on a collision with defender Johnny Acosta, who collects the game's fourth yellow for Costa Rica. Robben returns to free-kicking, but his serve to the far post produces no shot.

Ticos keeper Keylor Navas, hoping to get to a shootout in one piece, keels over again when Huntelaar clips him during a save.

Costa Rica, perhaps recognizing some exhaustion with the Dutch defense, strings together some rare attacks. Marco Urena unleashes perhaps the most solid shot of the day for the underdogs. It beelines right to keeper Jasper Cillessen, who has awakened after being able to doze until now, for the save.

One tireless player is Robben, who is in the midst of chance after chance for the Dutch. Midfielder Wesley Sneijder again drills one off the post, and the Netherlands must wonder if penalty kids is inevitable. Soon thereafter, it arrives.


The Dutch turn up the heat in extra time. A corner kick from Arjen Robben meets the head of Ron Vlaar in the box, and Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas bats it aside, forcing another corner.

It, too, tests Navas, but he is on the ground, shaken up, as the ball is cleared by a teammate. Yet another corner goes to waste, all of them in the first few minutes.

Navas appears OK. He better be; Costa Rica sends in its third and final substitute, Jose Cubero for midfielder Yeltsin Tejeda.

Robben's lobbying for a handball on Ticos defender Junior Diaz from outside the box pays off when one is awarded -- questionably so -- and another Dutch free kick follows. Robben's try is harmless, and Costa Rica extends the Netherlands'  frustration into the back half of extra time.


How did he miss? Netherlands forward Robin Van Persie gets a perfect cross from midfielder Wesley Sneijder for an apparent tap-in. Yet he never controls the ball, which skips past him, and whiffs on the chance.

Dutch forward Arjen Robben cannot be labeled a diver, at least in the second half. A trip just inches outside the box on the right sets up a free kick, this time with Van Persie starting it. His rocket is saved.

But the ball is back in the box within seconds, and Van Persie gets his foot solidly on it. Costa Rica cannot rely on an out-of-position Keylor Navas for once, so midfielder Yeltsin Tejeda, straddling the goal line, knocks the ball off the crossbar.

Costa Rica is grateful when the clock expires, sending a match in which it still has no shot on goal into overtime.


With three-fourths of regulation expired, it appeared as if a set piece would be the only avenue to a goal.

Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder looped a free kick into the box that Ron Vlaar redirected solidly with his head, but too high to inflict damage.

During the flow of play, Costa Rica continues its tournament-best knack for drawing offside. Through 80 minutes, the Dutch had committed half a dozen.

Costa Rican defender Giancarlo Gonzalez upends Netherlands forward Arjen Robben just outside the box, resulting in a yellow for Gonzalez, who makes a hand gesture to the referee that accuses Robben of resorting to his old diving tricks.

The ensuing free kick by Sneijder nearly breaks the tie but caroms off the left post. Hurriedly, the Dutch are back in the box, eager for a goal. Joining the every-growing crowd, Robin van Persie cannot beat keeper Keylor Navas. 


Netherlands forward Arjen Robben draws a blatant foul midway through the second half when attempting to split Costa Rica defenders in their World Cup quarterfinal game.

One of them, Michael Umana, is slapped with a yellow card. The Netherlands' unusual free-kick plan -- Robben sending a grounder to the high side of the box, away from the forest of defenders -- does not pan out.

Costa Rica is on the verge of its inaugural shot on goal after an hour had elapsed when Joel Campbell penetrates into the box. A slight shove in the back separates him from the ball, and pleas for a penalty land on the ref's deaf ears.

Soon after, another set piece oozing with possibilities almost works. A header by defender Giancarlo Gonzalez makes the Dutch uncomfortable, and the scoreless match starts tilting toward Costa Rica for the first time.


Costa Rica happily ceded ball possession to the Dutch with the intention of countering off turnovers. The Netherlands did little with its pitty-pat passing for awhile, then the field opened up for a batch of chances.

None was cashed in, though, not even on sharpshooter Robin van Persie's left-footer from close range. It was repelled by Keylor Navas, the first of four impressive saves by the Costa Rican goalkeeper who was on top of his game, as usual, in the scoreless first half.

Another came on a curving free kick by Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder that had goal written all over it until Navas interceded.

Costa Rica's counter was operating on no cylinders. In the entire first half, only a half-chance off of a set piece, when the ball clanged around in the box, broke up its offensive languishment. Only one shot was recorded.

Dutch forward Arjen Robben, under considerable scrutiny for his much-discussed penchant for diving, was called for a questionable foul when double-teamed in the box.

Later, he lured a foul call that Costa Rica found so off-base that defender Junior Diaz was assessed a yellow card for arguing.

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