Van Persie's misses nearly cost Dutch at World Cup

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) On the same ground where Robin van Persie's spectacular diving header earned him the nickname the Flying Dutchman, the Netherlands striker nearly fell flat against Costa Rica.

Van Persie missed two golden chances from close range in stoppage time on Saturday in a 0-0 draw before the Dutch prevailed 4-3 in penalty shootout to set up a World Cup semifinal against Argentina.

Van Persie says ''those misses could have been very costly. But our win is all that matters now.''

While Van Persie sputtered, teammate Arjen Robben was a constant threat against a dogged Costa Rica squad as he left behind a diving controversy surrounding the Netherlands' second-round victory against Mexico.

Van Persie and Robben both scored twice in Salvador in the 5-1 win over Spain to start the tournament.

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