Sports World Cup: Netherlands defeats hard fighting Costa Rica to make semifinals

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The Netherlands survived a nerve racking game to beat a resolute Costa Rica team and qualify for the semifinals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament.

A 4-3 win on penalties helped the Dutch overcome Costa Rica who gave their all in the contest,before the Europeans could secure a passage into the last four of the competition.

A determined Costa Rica team showed why they got to this stage of the competition when they held Holland to a 0-0 after 90 minutes.

Holland pressed and probed but they were not given any access to breach the North American team.

Particularly Keylor Navas who has been outstanding for his team in goal through out the tournament,the Levante goalkeeper replicated his previous performances in their past games and was at his sterling best against the Dutch.

Holland added more impetus in attack,intensifying efforts to find a goal towards the end of the game.

Wesley Sneijder almost found the net only for his free-kick to bounce off the post and the rebound wasted.

On the other hand,Robin Van Persie missed two good chances to have won the game in regulation time for his team,first was a miscued effort,failing to make the right connection after Sneijder picked him out with a pass.

The Manchester United striker missed another effort when Yeltsin blocked his shot that hit the bar and went out.

Extra time came,exactly what the Costa Ricans wanted,and it was surprising when they almost scored in the second half of extra time with Jasper Cillessen making a vital block to prevent a goal .

On the other end of the pitch,Sneijder struck the bar the bar again in what looked like an unlucky night for the Dutch.

Coach Louis Van Gaal pulled a tactical masterstroke when he pulled off Cillessen for Tim Krul just for the penalties.

It did work out for the Dutch with Krul saving two penalties while his teammates scored all four of theirs which won them the game 4-3 .

It is the first time that the Dutch are winning their game that went to penalties at World Cups,and also the fifth time that they have played extra time.

They will now play against Argentina in the second semifinal of the World Cup,while Brazil will play against Germany in the other fixture.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia