Netherlands backup goalkeeper Tim Krul had a plan, and it worked.
Krul, who was substituted into the Dutch's World Cup quarterfinal against Costa Rica at the end of extra time so he could man the goal during the penalty shootout, says he told Ticos players he knew where they would shoot to fluster them. Krul could be seen trash talking to Costa Rica players before every penalty. He guessed the correct direction on each of Costa Rica's kicks, and he made two saves, including one on Michael Umana that clinched the victory and the Netherlands' place in the semifinals.
“I watched them [Costa Rica] against Greece and studied them and I told the players that I knew where they were going to shoot to make them a bit nervous,” Krul told FIFA.com. “Maybe it worked. It happened before when I played against Frank Lampard: I told him that I knew and I saved it. I just tried that again. I’m so happy it worked today.”
Krul replaced goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in a risky, but ultimately brilliant, move by manager Louis van Gaal.
“We told Tim that he would be the better goalkeeper for a penalty shootout because he’s taller,” van Gaal said after the match. “We didn’t say anything to Cillessen because we didn’t want to interfere with his preparations or his concentration. However, there is no question whatsoever that Cillessen will be in the starting lineup again for the next match. It was just that in this case we felt Krul was the better option and he proved us right. He went the right way on every penalty.”
Krul may be returning to his place on the bench for the semifinal, but he says he'll be ready to go should the match against Lionel Messi and Argentina go to penalties.
“I’ll study Argentina as well,” Krul said. “We’ve been studying and planning what we’re going to do before every game with all the goalkeepers and the goalkeeping coach, so we’re going to do that again.”