Van Gaal's gamble praised
Louis van Gaal (AFP)
Brasilia - Louis van Gaal's unprecedented decision to replace his goalkeeper for
the penalty shoot-out in the Netherlands' World Cup quarter-final
victory over Costa Rica was hailed as a masterstroke by the Dutch media
To the astonishment of all and sundry, except his
coaching staff and replacement goalkeeper Tim Krul, van Gaal sent the
latter on for number one Jasper Cillessen and it proved to be an
But it was a brave gamble, given that Krul had saved just two of the 20 penalties he had faced at his club Newcastle United.
positive headlines represent quite a change for van Gaal, who made his
name in the 1990s as coach of a vibrant young Ajax side who won the 1995
He had departed after his first unsuccessful
spell in charge of the national side, when they failed to qualify for
the 2002 finals, to scathing criticism.
None of the Dutch media
were able to match the play on words by former Dutch internationals
Frank and his twin brother Ronald de Boer, who tweeted 'Louis van
However, they still delivered unstinting praise.
sport, at the highest level, success can be decided by the thinnest of
margins. Sometimes it stems from luck, sometimes from a sixth sense,"
commented De Telegraaf.
Another Dutch daily, Volkskrant, also
poured superlatives over the 62-year-old coach, who is due to step down
and take over the reins at English Premier League giants Manchester
"The change was a masterstroke. Tim Krul saved two penalties," it purred.
Dutch TV station NOS also chimed in with admiring comments.
to all expectations, Louis van Gaal replaced Cillessen by Tim Krul for
the penalties. Tim Krul turned out to be the hero by saving two
Although another daily, Algemeen Dagblad, said the
match had been a thriller -- it finished 0-0 after extra-time though
Wesley Sneijder hit the woodwork twice -- the Dutch national broadcaster
preferred to look ahead to the semi-final clash with two-time champions
Argentina on Wednesday.
"It will be the fifth time that the
Netherlands will contest the semi-finals (they won three of them but
lost on every occasion in the final)," said the broadcaster.