Mind games. Gamesmanship. Bad taste.
Whatever you want to call Tim Krul’s antics during the penalty kick shootout win over Costa Rica, it worked.
The Netherlands played out the full 90 minutes and extra time locked at 0-0 with Los Ticos and just before the PK shootout, Krul came on to replace ‘keeper Jasper Cillessen due to the Newcastle stopper having more height and a greater reach.
[ RELATED: Krul the hero, sends Dutch into semis ]
It turned out to be a genius move from Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal, who has since said he intended to do that all along, as Krul stopped two penalties and secured Holland’s spot in the final four for the second-straight tournament.
However, Krul has taken plenty of criticism for the way he approached the Costa Rican players before their penalties, plus the “banter” he threw their way and plenty of other off-putting tactics.
“I don’t think I did anything wrong,” Krul said. “I did nothing crazy. I didn’t shout in an aggressive manner. I told them I knew where they were going because I had analysed it. It worked.”
Krul was Bruce Grobbelaar-esque as he ran his mouth at the Costa Rican players, then walked up and down the goal line to delay their penalty takers. He then smashed the crossbar to make it shake and tried to intimidate the opposition penalty takers as much as he could. It worked. Perfectly.
It has also emerged that Cillessen did not know he was going to be replaced by Krul for the penalty shootout and although he was annoyed, the Dutch No. 1 was pleased it all worked out well in the end. As for Krul’s heroics, the six-foot-three ‘keeper is already preparing to play in the semifinal if penalty kicks come around against Argentina, as he pours over footage of the Argentine penalty takers in action.
It was one of the most bizarre tactical switches in World Cup history, but could we now see this happening more often?