Holland’s hero Tim Krul defends penalty kick antics


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?

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

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Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)