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Netherlands advances in PKs

Posted: July 5, 2014 10:28 p.m.
Updated: July 5, 2014 10:28 p.m.

Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul (23) celebrates with teammate Dirk Kuyt, right, after saving his second penalty kick during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Costa Rica at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil on Saturday.

 

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Tim Krul came on as a substitute in the final minute of extra time and then saved two penalties in a 4-3 shootout victory over Costa Rica on Saturday, giving the Netherlands a spot in the World Cup semifinals.

The Newcastle goalkeeper saved spot kicks from Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana after the match had finished 0-0.

The Dutch team will face Argentina in the semifinals on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.

In another stroke of tactical genius at this year's World Cup, Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal pulled Jasper Cillessen moments after the Ajax goalkeeper had kept his team in the match by saving a shot from Marcos Urena in extra time.

Krul then saved the second and fifth penalties in the shootout.

Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas had kept his team in the match with a string of saves in the first half and again in extra time. Wesley Sneijder came closest to scoring when he hit the post with a free kick in the 80th minute and sent a curling shot over Navas and off the crossbar before the penalty shootout.

At the end, however, Navas could not stop any of the four Dutch penalties as Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt all scored.

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ARGENTINA 1, BELGIUM 0

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) —Argentina reached the World Cup semifinals for the first time in 24 years after striker Gonzalo Higuain scored his first goal of the tournament against Belgium.

Argentina controlled the match after Higuain's eighth-minute goal, more due to disciplined defending than sparkling attack.

The Napoli striker fired home Angel Di Maria's deflected pass just inside the area, beating Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a low shot to the far corner of the goal as he turned.

"It came and at an important moment," Higuain said. "It's been so many years since we made it to the semifinals. Now we did."

Higuain came close to making it 2-0 in the second half when his shot smashed into the crossbar. Lionel Messi missed a chance to score his fifth goal of the tournament when he failed to beat Courtois on a counterattack in stoppage time.

Belgium's most creative player, Eden Hazard, had little impact on the game beyond receiving a yellow card for a studs-first challenge on Lucas Biglia. Hazard was substituted by Nacer Chadli in the 75th.

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