Penalty hero: Tim Krul came off the bench to save two penalties. Photo: AP
Louis Van Gaal made World Cup history when he substituted his goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen seconds before the end of extra time to bring on Tim Krul for the penalty shootout which brought The Netherlands victory over Costa Rica in their World Cup quarter-final.
But it was a move that Cillessen, the first-choice shot-stopper, had no idea was going to happen, Van Gaal revealed in the post-match press conference.
The coach had decided that the taller, long-armed Krul would be a better bet if it came to a penalty shootout, so he told the Newcastle United man in advance but mentioned nothing to Cillessen so that he would not be ''disappointed'' before the game.
Krul was given the likely Costa Rican penalty taking order and briefed as to how they might take their spot-kicks, and it worked out perfectly for the Dutch coach.
''With Tim Krul you know he has this long reach, and I am a bit proud of that. We said nothing to Jasper because we didn't want before the match for him to be faced with this information as it would be disappointing for him.
''But every keeper has specific qualities and we felt that Tim had a longer reach and better track record with penalties than Jasper. We had discussed it with Tim Krul, and the order of Costa Rica and how they would take their penalties and he had to be prepared. Fortunately it worked out.''
Van Gaal was bringing off a ruse that Guus Hiddink had tried to implement nine years ago when the Socceroos were playing Uruguay in the World Cup qualifier in Sydney that brought Australia to the World Cup in 2006.
The Dutch master appeared to be warming up Zeljko Kalac to replace Mark Schwarzer in anticipation of the shootout but he had already used up his three substitutions.
Schwarzer went on to become the hero of the hour, saving two Uruguayan penalties to take the Socceroos to Germany.