Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015
World Cup 2014

Football: Van Gaal kept keeper in dark over switch

Published on Jul 6, 2014 11:06 AM
Tim Krul of the Netherlands is hugged by coach Louis van Gaal after making the match winning penalty save in their shootout against Costa Rica during their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador on July 5, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SALVADOR, Brazil (AFP) - Dutch coach Louis van Gaal revealed he had not told Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen of his plan to switch him for Saturday’s penalty shoot-out victory over Costa Rica.

Van Gaal stunned onlookers at Salvador’s Fonte Nova Arena by bringing on Newcastle’s Tim Krul to replace Cillessen in the final seconds of extra-time with the scores deadlocked at 0-0.

The bold gambit paid off spectacularly as Krul, judged to be a better penalty stopper, saved two spot-kicks to help the Dutch into a semi-final meeting with Argentina.

Afterwards van Gaal disclosed that the strategy had been kept hidden from Cillessen right up to the moment the switch was made.
“We said nothing to Jasper,” van Gaal said.

“We didn’t want him to be faced with this information before the match because of course that would be disappointing for him.” But Krul – who has saved only two out of 20 penalties during his career with Newcastle – was seen as the safer pair of hands.

“Every keeper has specific qualities and we felt that he had a better reach, and a better track record to stop penalties,” van Gaal said.

“We’d discussed it with Tim, how Costa Rica would shoot their penalties, their sequence. So he was prepared.

“Fortunately it worked out because if it hadn’t worked out I would have taken the wrong decision. 

“That’s usually how it works out in football.”