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Media hails Van Gaal’s masterstroke


Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal20140706225649_l20140707123827_l

The Hague, July 7 (IANS) Dutch news media praised a daring decision by coach Louis Van Gaal to replace the goalkeeper for the penalty shoot-out against Costa Rica, which led the team to the semifinals against two-time champions Argentina in Sao Paulo Wednesday.

Van Gaal brought on substitute goalkeeper Tim Krul after 120 minutes of 0-0 draw in the Netherlands' World Cup quarter-final. Krul saved two penalties and guessed the right direction of all five spot-kicks, reports Xinhua.

De Telegraaf headlined "A golden grip from Van Gaal" on its Web site, adding the success at the highest level can be decided by thinnest margins. "Sometimes it stems from luck, sometimes from a sixth sense," it said.

Another Dutch daily Volkskrant hailed the decision on the goalkeeper switch as a masterpiece and delivered unstinting praise to the 62-year-old coach. Dutch TV station NOS also published admiring comments.

The Netherlands are the only team in the semifinals who won their quarter-final match on penalties. It will be the fifth time for the Netherlands to contest the semifinals and pressure will be more on them, for they have never won the World Cup.

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