That is for sure. Because the fairytale that is Costa Rica might continue ( as the media calls it) but for me, the Oranje Story is a fairytale as well!

I mean: we struggled during the Euros 2012. We lost our complete defensive backline. Our goalie mocked up his career, and months before the World Cup our strongholder in midfield Kevin Strootman got injured. Kevin who???

Indeed! It almost feels like we didn’t need him…

The media in Holland, most supporters, the football experts and former players….no one saw this coming. The draw was a bitch and most people had Holland going home after the group stages! With our 2010 squad, we were unable to get a single point vs Denmark, Germany and Portugal in 2012. Now, we beat the World Champions and South American big guns Chile and Mexico and we can safely say we have a pretty good look in into the semi finals. The semi finals!!!!

What a rollercoaster ride. And we all believed in it, and we were there. Just like we have heard the stories about 1974 or some have heard the stories of 1988, this World Cup might well be a tournament that will be relived forever.

LVG coaching juich

Obviously, we can lose against Costa Rica. Italy did. Uruguay did. England couldn’t score against them. Their defence is solid and strong. Their goalie is more than decent. And upfront they have some special players. We know Bryan Ruiz pretty well, in Holland. He was a connaisseur’s player, when at Twente. He could only score beautiful goals. He was the golden boy of Twente and did inject some class into PSV this season.

But. He didn’t manage too well in England. He picked the wrong club, maybe. Playing relegation football in England is not for everyone. And he did score some scorchers for Fulham. Ruiz is a good player in possession but also worked hard this World Cup for his team. He will able to do special things in big games. Another big name player is Joel Campbell. On the books of Arsenal but on loan in Greece. A great dribbler. Opportunistic player, with a good shot. His biggest problem: he is hot or cold. All or nothing. Another good player to watch out for is Christian Bolanes, who plays in Denmark. Playing from the left, coming inside and has good vision. He is the man where Costa Rica regularly starts its attacks. Celso Borges, playing in Sweden, is also a strong player.

Oscar Duarte, playing in Brugge, is also a key player but he is suspended and will be sorely missed.

All in all, a fun opportunistic team, riding the wave, not unlike Denmark in the 1992 Euros. But it does feel that it will be over and done with vs Holland. With all due respect: if there is one game Holland should win, it’s this one.

robben juggle

On the other hand, this will be the first time that Holland is not the underdog. The players are really supposed to win this game and it remains to be seen how they will handle that.

Because when the World Cup was discussed before the event, anyone would have applauded Holland reaching the quarter finals. But now they’re in it, and versus Costa Rica, suddenly everyone will expect them to win it. That is how football works and opportunistic it all is.

What happens after that (Argentina or Belgium)…who knows. It can go any which way.

But enough about Costa Rica!!

The pale faces of the youngsters De Vrij, Blind, Janmaat, Cillesen – worrier – and others have made place for the stern look of the confident warrior. Watching the lads in the tunnel before the Spain game or watching them now. A huge difference. “We made huge steps,” said Van Persie recently, and he is right. The weak defence was exposed in several friendlies against big nations, but at the World Cup, it’s Italy, England, Portugal and Spain that had to go home early, while BMI, Vlaar, Janmaat, Clasie and Depay are still in Brazil.

Van Gaal: “We might not have a fantastic team with experienced, world class players. But we are unified. We are confident. And we are very hard to beat.” He is right. The numbers don’t lie. In 3 out of 4 games, we fought back from being behind. Against Spain with many goals and good football. Against Mexico, in tough conditions, with character, shrewdness and determination. Is there a chance for underestimating Costa Rica. “No. No chance at all. What the players have as their goal is so big, so immense, there is no place for underestimating anyone. This is the quarter finals of a World Cup. The next step is the semi finals. Everyone is very aware of what is at stake.”

lvg press

Van Gaal practices behind closed doors and for the first time was able to actually keep his starting line up  a secret. Although it does seem he has decided to use Blind as De Jong’s replacement. Meaning Martins Indi will play at the back, most likely with Kuyt next to him on the flank. The biggest question mark now is the right full back. Runner Janmaat, or positional back Verhaegh?

But will LVG play 5-3-2? In earlier matches, Holland was most impressive with the usual 4-3-3. Putting pressure on and forcing the opponent (Australia, Mexico) back. Costa Rica too, will play with one striker when they lose possession, so 3 at the back + a central defensive midfielder is a bit too much. The Costa Rica backs don’t like a direct opponent so it does make sense to go for 4-3-3. In which case, we might see a midfield with Kuyt, Blind and Wijnaldum and the golden triangle up front with the option to mix it up. Or will Van Gaal opt for Kuyt as winger up front? Like he plays in Turkey and used to play in Oranje? Will LVG keep Depay on the bench for a turn in the second half when he is needed? Questions questions, and only LVG has the answers for now.

Internationally, Oranje is being compared to the Brazil of 2002. The Italian media praise Van Gaal and Oranje up into the sky. “In Holland, Oranje is criticised by the media? We don’t get that. They won four in a row. We would be on the streets celebrating if Italy did this. Van Gaal created a winning system that allows the youngsters to grow and gives the older lads a role to shine and lead. The big names still make the difference, but players like Blind, De Vrij and Depay have made enormous impressions on the Italian clubs. Holland might not win it this time, but they are definitely amongst the top of the world.”

The Japanese media: “Holland can reach the finals and win it too. Holland could make it for the fourth time. For a small nation, that is amazing. You can win it, but you could also lose it. Which might become a huge trauma. Anyway, LVG has created the perfect system for Oranje and created it around Robben, just like he did with AZ when he built the team around El Hamdaoui. I loved that AZ and I love this Oranje.”

gio wijn

German media: “Louis van Gaal vs the romantics. Johan Cruyff, of course. But Van Gaal is winning so he should be above criticism. He is able to switch between systems, and this rhythm shift as we call it works really well. We can see you get to the finals and win it.”

Brazilian Media: “Arjen Robben is a benevolent maniac. He is on a mission. It failed in 2010 and it seems like he deadset on winning it now. Oranje reminds me of Brazil 2002, when romantics and adventure were replaced by aggression and effectiveness. We had Ronaldo and Ronaldinho to make the difference. You have Van Persie and Robben. In my view, the birth of this team came when Van Persie made that diving header against Spain. The team was losing. It didn’t have much say. But Van Persie believed in that goal. He dove, without knowing what would happen. And the whole team joined him in that big dive. And that leap was the launch of this new Oranje.”

Belgian media: “I do feel that Oranje is not Oranje, with 5 defenders. But I also believe the Dutch media are too harsh. When Van Basten played wonderful games in 2008 with counter football against Italy and France, the media loved it. Van Marwijk didn’t play too impressive in 2010 and was somewhat criticised. But now Van Gaal, playing with a new team mostly, is at the helm, everyone seems to want him to fail.”

The Dutch players are slowly starting to realise and talk about their dreams to win this World Cup. Vlaar was one of the first and now Wijnaldum as well.  The PSV midfielder, who missed half this season due to injuries, is the new marathon man in midfield, in Strootman’s spot. Ask the squad which player is the fittest and they’ll yell “Wijnaldum”. He was 16 years old when he made his debut. The man with the backheel, the stepover, the dribble and the trick. Criticised for being too creative. Now, 7 years later into his career but still only 23 years old, he is battling as the Marathon Man. Asked about his experiences before this quarter finals… Is he nervous? “Not at all. I don’t notice my nerves. All goes so quickly. Before you know it you are in the match, all focus. I haven’t played for a while and I am all enthusiasm. The pitch, the ball, the fans…I’m loving it.” Mexican star Guardado experienced how it was against hardworking midfielder Wijnaldum. Winger no more. Well, my  job was to contain him. Make sure he couldn’t create anything. It went well although I almost played right back!”. Wijnaldum’s story is a fairytale like Oranje’s or Costa Rica’s… “I didn’t believe this was going to happen. I wasn’t part of the plans of Van Gaal, I don’t think. And when I got my back injury I thought I was completely out of sight. But the last months I played well and clearly Mr Van Gaal was looking for a certain type of player. I was one of the lucky last in the squad and now I am a starter!”. Gini Wijnaldum knows Costa Rica well. “I watched them a lot to follow team mate Bryan Ruiz. He is a good mate and I think they’ve done really well. At this stage, everything is possible. Anyone of the remaining nations can make it all the way. Us too!”

 

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158 responses to “Preview Oranje – Costa Rica: the fairytale continues….”

  1. OhYeah says:

    My last comment from the previous article, since many will miss it:

    “Nice, wrote a long paragraph and then “you’re logged out, sorry!”. Jan please sort this out. I will donate 25 USD if you fix this simple thing. 🙂

    Anyways, I have a theory. All the experimenting Van Gaal has done with players and formations is not to find the perfect lineup and system, but to prepare the players to adapt their play quickly when a tactical change is required to beat the opponent. So far no other team has done what the Dutch have done under Van Gaal. As soon as it’s required, the Dutch kick into 5th gear, change their gameplay and so far no opponent has been able to cope with that.”

  2. onzie says:

    anyone see the photo of louis van gaal as jack sparrow

  3. AZ-forever says:

    Jan,

    thanks for mentioning about my AZ Alkmaar. After AZ became second time a champion, LvG said that that was his the most valuable victory as a coach!

  4. LZ says:

    Brazilian media: Arjen is a kind-hearted psycho. Love it!

  5. HedonistiX says:

    I wish I had written this:
    In my view, the birth of this team came when Van Persie made that diving header against Spain. The team was losing. It didn’t have much say. But Van Persie believed in that goal. He dove, without knowing what would happen. And the whole team joined him in that big dive. And that leap was the launch of this new Oranje.”

    We’ll win today and take care of business, one match at a time! (I usually hate to say these words but it is so appropriate for the Oranje today)

    Hup Holland Hup!

  6. TIJU1234 says:

    This guy Pinto is whining over Robben as he sees him as pure diver.he wants protection from refree when fouling Roben.bloody begger…You are done pinto 3-0 at least.
    @Pinto your run is finished……..
    its a psychological battle vs Robben and Co.I hope Refree is honest and dont listen to this whiner.Its true Robben goes down fast at times ,but he celarly gets fouled everytime.

  7. HedonistiX says:

    Predictions?

    3-1 for us in a very dominating fashion, hoping for a big day for Robben/RvP to get them ready for the semi.

    And please, Pinto and others, just get it over with on the “diving” thing, it just makes you sound stupid.

  8. Paul says:

    After what happened to Neymar yesterday, i think the refs will protect Robben.

    Predict 2-0 today for Holland. Really no pressure on us, we werent expected to get out of the group stage, and here we are with a good chance to progress to the semi-finals.

    HUP HOLLAND HUP. Will be watching this one at a bar in Long Island City (just over the east river from manhattan. Sporting my #9 jersey.

    🙂

  9. goldstone says:

    ad.nl Lineup Orange: Jasper Cillessen; Dirk Kuyt, Stefan de Vrij, Ron Vlaar, Bruno Martins Indi, Memphis Depay; Georginio Wijnaldum, Wesley Sneijder, Daley Blind; Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie.

  10. As for today’s game, totally confident.
    We’ll deliver, in style, and with no worries.
    3 x 0

    From the beggining I was hoping, desiring, for a Nederland vs Deutschland final, but after the Brazil game last night I just want to destroy them in the final. Jesus, they suck big time. And to be world champions in Brazil, and being part of the Maracanazo 2.0, that would be priceless!

  11. Jan says:

    I went back a couple of posts to check my earlier predictions and found out I have been calling a lot of games right. I saw the big win over Spain, the tough Australia game, the Chile game which didn’t matter too much and the tough Mexico game.

    I sort of feel this will be a doozy. I call 4-0 for Oranje.

    • aanvalluh says:

      Totally agree with this prediction, Jan (though I’ve been afraid to say it in fear of jinxing it). 4+ goals is not out of the question, nor is giving up a sloppy goal or two, as is our normal tendency.

      Hup Hup!!!

    • Bret from SoCal says:

      No matter the result, I am proud of this team and I admit I was wrong about van Gaal. And I am glad to admit it. This team has achieved what no one thought we would. Here is hoping to a good match today and a Semi-Final win. Let’s just hope history doesn’t repeat the 1978 Final!

    • VanX says:

      Scoring a few goals is not out of the question, but we simply can’t drop our guard, which is the real fear. Costa Rica will miss Duarte and we do have a big advantage in that respect, although we are down some players too. But we have alternative formations to compensate for weakness in certain areas, thanks to LvG’s creativity.
      But all the credit to you for your optimism. As long as you are calling them right, keep calling them–it seems to work like magic for us.

  12. VanX says:

    I have to say that Belgium have been very disappointing. They have little fluidity in attack, and no ideas in the final third of the field. No wonder they have scored relatively few goals. They are going out with a whimper and look like they’ve given up already, with 15 minutes to play still.
    One thing that is interesting is that all the favorites in the quarters – Brazil, Germany and Argentina — came out attacking very quickly and scored an early goal. Hopefully we can do the same.

  13. Yoyogi says:

    Looks like Messi and company in the semifinals. Belgium didn’t deserve to go through. They can’t pass. Not much communication. No adjustments after halftime. Towards the end they were just lobbing long balls into the penalty area.

    Argentina don’t stop attacking. They always look dangerous every time they attack. This is absolutely a game Robben can exploit as they leave a lot of space behind their defenders.

    Hopefully, no surprises and we get past CR, it will be a tough game for sure but if our defenders can do their part and stay focused we have a chance.

  14. richarde says:

    Belgium is one of the best teams in the world in the middle of the field–but as others have said and is evident, they struggle to score, struggle in the last third, which cost them today. I don’t like Argentina, so hope The Netherlands can win today and then beat them in the semis. This game and France-Germany were dull. Definitely can’t overstate the importance of scoring first.

  15. TIJU1234 says:

    Seriously these belgians lacks intelligence and sharpness of our players and the Germans,Fellaini and Witsel are game flow killer,very slow in passing,up front Hazard looks like Afellays brother.Only lukaku and Debruyne did some scrach work.nothing very impotent and very no creative belgians.
    I remmber even Japan beat them…they reached QF due to their weak group,nothing else…

  16. Overmars says:

    Hup Hup Holland!!!

  17. fredanjema says:

    Damn I love this team…

    What they’ve done this World Cup has been amazing and I’m excited to see what they do today.

    I love everyone’s confidence and I think they’ll take them out with some authority..

    Hup Holland!

    Enjoy the game everyone!

  18. Guillaume vB says:

    I’m so frigging nervous. Please, no injuries and no cards.

  19. Keko says:

    Hup Holland hup!!

  20. OhYeah says:

    Wow, 3-4-3, another surprise. I wasn’t excpecting this, maybe 4-3-3 or even 4-4-2…

  21. Balkan says:

    Yikes. What the Fuck is this kinda of start.

  22. Balkan says:

    This is one he’ll of start.

  23. JB says:

    18 minutes in and the ball circulation is just too slow so far. CR look more dangerous on the ball, which should not be the case. Only Robben and Depay showing initiative.

    Hopefully this will improve, as I think we’d all prefer to score early…

  24. Balkan says:

    Rvp could have scored. Why so nervous?

  25. Balkan says:

    It feels like Depay can take their whole defense somehow he slows down and screws up the play. Now sure what we’re waiting for.

  26. richarde says:

    OMG, RVP with a golden opportunity and inexplicably kicks it straight at the keeper–something he almost never does. Good pressure, however–let’s get one.

  27. Balkan says:

    Very sloppy. CR will grow in their belief. We’re showing them too much respect.

  28. Balkan says:

    Naval has only conceded 2 goals so far and both pk.

  29. Balkan says:

    Don’t like Rvp today.

  30. JB says:

    Robben has become our attacking center mid in this game.

    I’m impressed with his play-making, but who will provide the finish?

  31. richarde says:

    IMO Depay is playing too cautiously–looking to pass too much. Would to see him make some runs. We’re knocking but must finish.

  32. Balkan says:

    This is disgusting. We played to finish 0-0. Didn’t even tried to send a last cross during addtl minute.

  33. JB says:

    I certainly understand the criticism of Blind today. All he’s offering is innocuous wall passes to Sneijder.

    It will be interesting to see what adjustments LVG makes for the second half.

    • VanX says:

      Agree on Blind. Very disappointing both offensively and defensively.

      Kuyt is playing well and giving more attacking threat. One possibility is that Kuyt is moved to left back, and Janmaat or Verhaegh comes in at right back.

  34. Balkan says:

    Is this how we’re supposed to win 3-0 or 4-0? CR is dangerous in counters and if we fall behind we may go out. Can’t win every match by coming from behind.

  35. mago says:

    Blind sucks as usual but he always plays…
    Who is his father?
    ahhh the assistent coach!!!

  36. Balkan says:

    We need more speed. We’re being too readable and letting CR settle in defense which we have no idea how to penetrate. Never thought I would be nervous for this game.

  37. richarde says:

    We are playing a lot in front of the CR box. Robben has been working inside. Seems like we need to get the ball out wide more and use crosses. The one time Kuyt got the ball wide he made a nice pass inside for a good chance. Need to finish and get the lead!

  38. hien says:

    We need to score 1-0 first to open the game up, but Costa Rica has defended well. They have at least 2-3 players behind Robben. We should have been more lethal in our finish (RVP). Sneijder has been practiced free kick like LVG said. I guess we need some luck to open up the game.
    Hup Holland Hup! Perhaps this game is closer than I thought. Let’s hope we score in the 2nd half and open this game up.

  39. JB says:

    In my view, we are the more skilled team and are the team with the attacking intent. We cannot let CR dictate the pace of this game, as they will be content to ride out a 0-0 draw all the way to PKs. They will honor their country in doing so.

    We need to start pinging the ball around in our midfield and get Kuyt and Blind (or whoever is playing wide) to start making runs from deeper to get the ball into the box.

    And if RVP is off his game, bring in Huntelaar.

    No need for panic yet, but we definitely need to pick up the pace a little.

  40. Balkan says:

    Rvp seems tired and almost disinterested. If it goes to penalties we’re out.

  41. Yoyogi says:

    What we need in Oranje is a midfielder who can dribble and pass through the middle. Someone who plays like Viera or Yaya Toure.

  42. Balkan says:

    Bmi just almost conceded a penalty.

  43. VanX says:

    We need someone to in the midfield (Wijnaldum, Sneijder, etc) to make a run or two into the CR box, to help provide more options in attack. It’s too static without enough being ventured.

    • richarde says:

      Sneijder is trying but Wijnaldum and Depay are doing little. Maybe starting Depay was not wise–he has not put the pressure on CR that I expected. I know Wijnaldum has qualities but he offers zero in attack.

  44. Balkan says:

    Get Rvp out. He is choking today.

  45. JB says:

    Our backline is on the ball far too much.

    I think we need to move Sneijder up closer to RVP and get Wijnaldum and whoever our other midfielder is to start feeding him the ball quickly.

  46. JB says:

    RVP also needs to decide if he wants to be a scorer or not. He’s deferred several opportunities in the second half.

  47. OhYeah says:

    Is there something wrong with Van Persie’s eyes? He’s always offside, and not by a small margin! What’s going on? Depay seems to be choking under pressure too. Not good. So far Robben is the only one who is holding it together, and maybe Sneijder.

  48. VanX says:

    Our midfield is too damn slow to pass the ball forward.
    Depay just waiting … and waiting… for Blind to pass it into space. But instead he doesn’t even see DePay. Why does he keep looking sideways and back?

  49. JB says:

    My wife just walked in and said “Do you know how many people in the world could play outside midfield if all you have to do is pass the ball backwards?”

  50. richarde says:

    That freakin’ linesman is killing us with his offsides calls. We are killing ourselves with offside calls, and CR seems very good at drawing them. Starting Depay did not pay off.

  51. Balkan says:

    Get the freaking Rvp out. He is pulling a 2010.

  52. JB says:

    You really can’t put it on much more of a silver platter than that!

  53. OhYeah says:

    Wow how did RvP miss that…

  54. richarde says:

    How does RVP not put his foot on that ball? Good grief.

  55. Balkan says:

    We can never win this game with RvP in there.

  56. richarde says:

    CR sux. This is why I hate football sometimes–inferior teams hanging around because it is difficult to score. This reminds me of the Belgium-USA game. Somebody put the ball in the net.

  57. Balkan says:

    After this last chance I believe our adventure may come to an end today. We’re clueless and it seems like one of those days when we can never score.

  58. VanX says:

    I don’t know what’s worse – RvP’s finishing or the linesman’s offsides calls. On that last one, Robben was a yard onside. Not even close.

  59. JB says:

    Vlaar looked like he got nicked up near the end but I don’t think we can afford a sub for him.

    Who does LVG bring on, and when?

    • VanX says:

      LvG should have taken off Blind already, moved Kuyt to LB, and brought on a new RB.
      Hunter may come on for RvP at this rate too. We don’t have too many game changers at this point.

  60. Bret from SoCal says:

    Just wondering if I’ll ever see van Persie score a goal in an elimination game. I mean really? This reminds me of Kluivert missing 342 chances against Brazil in ’98.

  61. richarde says:

    We’ve been unlucky, and RVP simply had to poke that ball in the net from Sneijder.

  62. JB says:

    Can someone get Ruud a jersey, quick?

  63. hien says:

    I hope we have gas left in the tank b/c we need to score in extra time. LVG should have started with Lens and bring Depay in later. Let’s cheer them on! Hup Holland Hup!

  64. JB says:

    Theyve got a number of defenders on yellows now. Gonzalez, Umanez, Diaz — attack them in the box!

  65. richarde says:

    You can bet that CR will park the bus in extra time.

  66. Balkan says:

    Rvp is our black sheep today. Get him out quick before too late. And Greece had scores of chances against CR just couldn’t finish them. We don’t even have any great chances.

  67. JB says:

    In a few years, Sneijder may be taller than the corner flag

  68. Balkan says:

    You know we need to concede a goal in order to wake up.

  69. OhYeah says:

    Another offside by Van Persie?!

  70. Balkan says:

    Lvg is betting on the wrong horse with RvP still in there.

  71. TIJU1234 says:

    RVP NEEEDS to be subbed Common vangaal…please

  72. JB says:

    Robben must have run a 10k tonight, most of it full speed.

    We’ve got to get a goal!

  73. hien says:

    Robben wants the ball now. Many players are tired so we should give the ball more to RVP and then more going to the box. Either Robben score himself or he will set up others to score.

    Let’s go Holland! Hup Holland Hup!

  74. Balkan says:

    No magic. We risk of turning from one of the best surpsrises to biggest casualty. I am almost positive we can’t beat them on penalties.

  75. JB says:

    At least we’ve gotten away from that linesman for the final 15…

  76. JB says:

    Are they going to use the last sub on a keeper for the Shootout?!

  77. hien says:

    Did we practice PK? I saw Krul warming up. We need some magic.

  78. VanX says:

    Maybe Clasie or DeGuzman could be brought on? For

  79. Yoyogi says:

    I guess we have to make our penalties. Krul is warming up. Hope he can stop one or two!

  80. hien says:

    How many posts did we hit? 3 or 4?

  81. JB says:

    Two strikers on and neither will shoot the ball!

  82. JB says:

    Sneijder
    Van Persie
    Huntelaar
    Lens
    Robben

  83. goldstone says:

    This one’s for you, DRB. 😉

  84. OhYeah says:

    Van Gaal.

    Krul.

    That’s all I wanted to say.

  85. hien says:

    Man of the Match may be Krul but LVG has showed great sub again. We deserved this! Our mentality is strong. Let’s enjoy it now then get prepared for Argentina tomorrow.

  86. JB says:

    YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All I had to do was go downstairs to watch!

    KKKKKKKKKKKKKKRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

    LVG has done it again!

  87. Yoyogi says:

    Kruuuuulllllll!

    What a strategy LVG!

  88. VanX says:

    Our new strategy: Avoid winning in regular time, and play for PKs.

  89. Yoyogi says:

    We should just play for penalties and bring krul in!

  90. hien says:

    Di Maria (Argentina) is having thigh injury, possibly out of Semi final if not WC. Would someone be able to confirm?

  91. onzie says:

    yes!!!!!!!! donder op costa rica!!!!!!!!!!! lets not get ahead of ourselves but this feels like destiny in a way, last minute scores, winning penalty kicks, now to overcome the newest version of maradona, and if do that, revenge on germany?

  92. andrew says:

    Jan had it right; Oranje would win by multiple goals…he just forgot to mention that it would be in penalties.

  93. OhYeah says:

    I don’t remember ever seeing a substitution like this. I don’t know if Van Gaal was just born lucky but even when some of his strats backfire (dropping Janmaat last game, starting with Depay today) he can still come up with something that literally saves the day.

  94. Jeff says:

    Oh My God, a team of destiny. With all these chances I thought we were doomed but then Van Gaal a true genius makes the substitution that counts and here we are in the semis. What a WINNNNNN!!!!!

  95. Vincent says:

    I never understood LvG’s arrogance until now. His arrogance is a badge of honor he has earned by being right, lol. He was the very definition of calm even immediately prior and during the penalties. The commentators were all left scratching their heads at the “bizarre” substitution, but Louis van Gaal has his master plan.

    We didn’t play well today, no, but I trust LvG to have taken notes.

  96. Stijnis Oranje Aussie says:

    What a Krul way to win!!

    Probably one of the most frustrating 120 minutes to watch, playing a team parking the bus, so many chances missed, so much woodwork hit, so many annoying offsides, Costa Rica time waisting… But in the end it was all worth it to see big Krul step up! Well done Van Gall!

    Besides that I think Depay should be used more as a sub, we need him fresh and running when the oppositions defence start to tire

    • VanX says:

      I agree that DePay may be better as an impact sub. But it’s unclear how much was his fault. Blind gave him no support and no decent passes.
      Compare how Kuyt supported Robben brilliantly (if I dare say) on the right side, making Robben more dangerous by splitting the defenders. Blind didn’t do that once that I can recall. Certainly far too little when going after a defensive opponent.
      So we were stuck attacking on one side of the field, only through Robben.
      Blind really really has to sit out the next game.

      • Faraz says:

        Blind was really good, he do what he has to do, u r so negative about him, who has to play?? can u say his name?? willems?? pieters, just forget them, they never back, we all think he was 100% good except u and guys who don’t know about football.
        just finish it, and be positive, blind was one of our best player on the pitch.

      • Faraz says:

        it is really redicolous, Blind get 3 stars from GOal.com more than u and everyone who say he sucks, just shup up plz, i think Depay was really sucks today, sneijder was near him many times, and he choose the wrong decision.
        don’t be fool like silly laurent, Cilessen and Blind were really well tonight,

        • VanX says:

          We will just have to disagree about Blind in this game. I expect more out of our wing midfielders. Maybe LvG told him to hang back but I doubt it.

  97. JB says:

    The Krul move was brilliant on many levels!

    First, it takes all the pressure off the players and puts it all on the manager.

    Second, Krul probably spent the week practicing PKs just in case, and so he was fresh and mentally ready to go.

    Third, if Costa Rica prepared for PKs, they would have readied for Cillessen.

    A US division III college team did something similar a few years ago in a championship game.

    This is just classic LVG!

  98. Louis says:

    I am absolutely flummoxed now! (Btw. I never use this word but for special occasions, and this is most certainly one!)

    Ho crazy cool and arrogant can you be to change the keeper for the penalty shhot-out and subbing anyone else on before. Has this ever been done before? I think only a coach as cool as Louis can do that … and then pull it off.

    I was nervous before the shootout, but then remembered the players we had on the field: van Persie, Kuyt, Robben, Sneijder, Huntelaar. All players with a lot of experience in penalties on big occasions. And then with a super-super Sub like Krul: Well let’s say we were all nervous for the wrong reasons ….

  99. LOUIS VAN GAAL JE BENT EEN GENIE MET EEN GOUDEN PIK!

  100. Faraz says:

    it was a really good game,
    many positive thing happened.

    the most important thing was about sneijder, he was really good, his skills, passing and shoting was awesome,
    robben is on his best stage of his playing time, i never enjoy his playing like today, do all he want to do.
    our difence was so better than against australia and mexico,.
    our team can attack and attack, we have 15 shots on target, awesome day, we play really beautiful. everyone see castarka against Uruguay and Italy can accept me, and know what our players done tonight.

    i really love kuit, he never finish.

    i’m again think, if VDV don’t injured we can not be in this stage. tanx god for that.

    Good luck Netherland

  101. VanX says:

    Although RvP was killing me today, I think LvG did not bring him off so as not to dent his confidence (further) as it looked like he was short in that area. It’s a man-management thing as he expects he will need a confident RvP for the next game.
    And when he did come on, Hunter picked up a foolish yellow against Navas. So he was showing stress too.

  102. Marvellin says:

    WHAT A BRILLIANT STRATEGY BY LVG Again!!

    Take out BMI and put Huntellar and never take out RVP, while change J. Cillessen with Y. Krull

    Finally, we understand we need RVP in the Pinalty shoot.

    We neeed all the seniors for the Pinalty Shooters!!

    RVP, Robbern, Sneider, Kuijt & Huntelaar.

    What a brilliant move by LVG….

    Love Tim Krull for his intimidation…. 🙂
    He put pressure to all CR shooters.

  103. Alistair says:

    Amazing! Krul was great but let s not forget the penalty scorers. Simply perfect. It is obvious that they didnt take chances and trained well for them. Again i am surprised with the comprehensive preparedness of this team.

    HUP HOLLAND !!!

  104. hien says:

    Thank you Faraz for the confirmation! I think we can beat Argentina. It may be the most difficult opponent (Argentina is one of the favourites, more heavyweight than Costa Rica) but it may be an easier game for us (Argentina will not park the bus).
    LVG has some closed training which is a very good move. No leaking report of what was done. He was right when he said that it takes 23 players to win. He has done homework, prepare our players well, even in case of PK.
    When Costa Rica had that chance in the extra time, it’d almost give me a heart attack. One chance and we had so many. Thanks Cillessen for his right leg.
    Sneijder has been practiced free kick so if he has more chances, I think he will score a free kick goal. I think our forwards and midfields need to be more in the box when Robben attacked. Costa Rica had done their homework and pretty much blocking Robben’s shot when he cut inside from the right. We need to beat the offside and Robben to send in through ball.
    I’m so proud to be a Dutch fan today! We are in semi final after been to a final 4 years ago. If justice has been served, this is our year.

  105. Jan says:

    Ok people…the log out timing problem is solved….

    Check my post on the CR here real soon!

  106. Jan says:

    the CR game I mean

  107. Paul says:

    Where did Balkan go? LOL

    WHERE ARE YOU BALKAN??!?!?!?!

    We did it boys, on to the semis!!!!!!!!!!

    We played great, we just didnt have luck. 3 posts and many good saves kept it level.

    HUP HOLLAND!

  108. Elftal says:

    Hup guys Hup the Elftal!!!
    Louie is masterclass!!! Depay tegen Oz, Fer tegen Peppers, his majesty the Hunter tegen tequila and today Tim Krul sub on the 121 min, thanks Louis!!!! Thanx Tim!!!!!! Thanx Jasper for the stop on the 117th min. Also Thanx Ron, deVrij, Gino, Dirkie, Blind, BMI for the sterk performance. For the rest………….Please Score Some Goals tegen Argie!!!! Their defence sucks big time, the worst we have faced thus far………Come on starry divas do your bit on Wednesday in Sao Paulo!!!!!!!!

  109. Alistair says:

    Yes guys let us focus on the match rather than the pens. I think Holland created enough to win but we were very unlucky not to score!

    Great to win a place in the SF for the 3rd time in the last 5 world cups. We should be proud !

  110. Oranje Finn says:

    My daughter crying and I yell. King Louis did it. Whole team did it!!!!

  111. Paul says:

    Not sure how this performance can be criticized.

    We created a ton of chances against a team that parked the bus and had one shot against us.

    great performance, great result!!!

    SEMI FINALS

  112. P222 says:

    YESSSSSSSSSS WE DID IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Win by Penalties ? Us ? In world cup ?

    I will start to believe that World cup 2014 is our….

    Krul.
    Van GAAL.

    Hell… YESSSSSSSSSS SEMI FINAL !!!!!!!

  113. Mohamed says:

    Great win. This win will just make us stronger.

    Clasie and Vorm are the only two players who didn’t play. I hope Clasie will get some minutes against Argentina.

    Btw , For the whiners , it’s the first time since WC 1966 , a team hits the post 3 times during a game. We defeated bad luck 🙂 . Congratulations guys.

  114. JB says:

    Argentina’s goal was well-taken by Higuain but the opportunity was created off a random deflection.

    We can certainly play with them, and de Jong’s absence shouldn’t be so problematic if they truly are missing di Maria too.

    Also, I’d really prefer not to hear much further criticism of Wesley Sneijder, who I thought played a great game and created many opportunities!

    He and Robben in my view were both fantastic, along with Vlaar and Kuyt again!

    • JB says:

      Also, if this is to be our World Cup, can you imagine a better final four — Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Holland.

      It really doesn’t get much better than that!

      • poster says:

        Totally agree, did not think this team had what it took to make it to the semis as I was too worried about individuals that were missing, they play as a true team and the sum is greater then its parts.

        One of my favorite all time Dutch teams!

      • Marvellin says:

        Yes. If this be our Oranje WorldCup… It’s sounds much better than — Columbia, France, Belgium and HOLLAND. It seems a cheating to win it.

  115. Jad says:

    Hup Holland Hup, great game played it could have been simply 6-0.

  116. HedonistiX says:

    OKAY …. I don’t think my heart can take this any longer. What a match! This is the first time I can say that I feel very comfortable with our defense, they looked solid the whole match, even shaky Cillessen made a crucial safe.

    Where do I start? Laurent, I would like to hear what you say about Sneijder’s performance today. The man you called “shit football”, I thought other than one bad pass, he was excellent. BMI, the guy I was skeptical with in the first couple match, was playing really well. And Louis … what can I say? Did I not read this is the guy who literally showed his b@ll$ to his players? The decision to keep RVP (despite his misses) for the pens and subbing for Krul? #GENIUS …. I meant, I don’t think there is any other coach would have any b@ll$ to do this kind of subs.

    Robin and Daley, yes, you two …. I need to see you stepping up in the semi, OK? My only question is: why is Janmaat not playing?

    And our “big 3” plus “our rock Kuyt”, how awesome was that making all those penalty kicks?

    Despite the frustration and annoyance with the misses, cross bars, right post, left post, off side calls, I honestly did not have any doubt we’d have won this match. A tall order considering how bad our PK shootout record was. But the “big 3” plus Kuyt delivered. Obviously I don’t need to say anything about Krul.

    This is a team of destiny, a team does NOT have to be the best to win a tourney but this team had shown again and again to be resilient. WE WILL WIN 2014 WORLD CUP!

    Hup Holland Hup!

  117. Erich100 says:

    Anything can happen from now on in this WK, but you guys will have to accept Louis Van Gaal is the most extraordinary manager in this tournament, if maybe the best Dutch coach EVER.

    I am surprised to read here “we believed”, when there were some articles back in the day saying Van Gaal wasn’t fit for the job. Well, it doesn’t really matter who is right or wrong about that, but then again, Van Gaal is PURE GENIUS!!!

    Hup Holland Hup!!!!

  118. oranje fan 4eva says:

    HUP ORANJE HUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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