Two substitutes scored to give the Netherlands a 2-0 win over Chile on Monday but Dutch boss Louis van Gaal said it was his strategy of containing the south Americans' high intensity pressing game that made the difference.
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There was little to choose between the teams in the final World Cup Group B game until Van Gaal sent on Leroy Fer and Memphis Depay towards the end of the second half.
Fer rose to head home a cross in the 77th minute just two minutes after coming on and Depay poked home an Arjen Robben cross in stoppage-time to seal the victory.
The result means the Dutch, beaten finalists in 1974, 1978 and in South Africa four years ago, are likely to face either Mexico or Croatia in the last 16. Chile will probably face hosts Brazil in Belo Horizonte.
"Luck, that's luck," Van Gaal said of his substitutions. "Of course I know that Leroy Fer can shoot from far out and can move forward on opponents, I know he is good with headers and that gives you have an advantage against Chile.
"Memphis, we analysed that Chile gives away more space in the last 15 minutes so if you field a creative football players you have a chance to cash in. He made a wonderful goal."
Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said Chile were the only team looking to attack but Van Gaal angrily rejected suggestions the Dutch were negative.
"You have got to develop a strategy that will let you win," he said. "We are not giving much away and we are creating opportunities. This is being confirmed by the results, if it wasn't then you'd chop of my head, I'm sure of it.
"My players and my group, we want to score one goal more than the opponent."