In what was always going to be his penultimate game in charge of the Dutch national team, Louis van Gaal was hoping things would play out differently.
The 62-year-old manager, who will take charge of Manchester United as soon as his time at the World Cup is up, was downbeat in his post-match press conference after seeing his side beaten 4-2 on penalties after a tense 0-0 draw played out in Sao Paulo.
Van Gaal confirmed in the press conference that specialist goalkeeper Tim Krul, who LVG bought on as a substitute with seconds to spare of their quarterfinal match with Costa Rica specifically to play the hero role in the penalty shootout, was going to come on to face the penalty kicks once again.
However in the 96th minute van Gaal had to burn his last sub on Robin van Persie, as the Dutch skipper was struggling to stand up after overcoming injury and illness to make the semifinal. That, looking back on it now, may have been the pivotal moment as despite Jasper Cillessen’s best efforts, the Ajax ‘keeper couldn’t keep out any of the Argentine players’ efforts.
Speaking overall about Holland crashing out, plus Krul not coming on, here’s what van Gaal had to say.
“If I had had the opportunity to substitute Cillessen I would have, but I had used my three subs. Really it [the defeat] is the most disappointing thing that could have happened. It is terrible to lose like this. At the very least we were equal to them, if not better. It is a disappointment.”