Holland goalkeeper Tim Krul is ecstatic to be in the semi-finals of the World Cup after his dramatic introduction to the tournament.
The Newcastle player came on late in extra time and produced two saves in a penalty shoot-out against Costa Rica after a goalless draw over 120 minutes in Saturday's quarter-final in Salvador.
"Tonight I have realised a dream," Krul told http://www.telegraaf.nl. "What I've experienced is an incredible emotion.
"(Holland coach Louis) van Gaal had warned me. It was something prepared and I knew that I would have this chance."
Van Gaal promised Cillessen - who, unlike Krul, was not told of the planned change for the shoot-out - that he remains his first choice for the semi-final.
"There is no question about who will start next game, it will be Cillessen," he said. "But we felt Krul was the better choice here.
"We told Krul that he would be a possibility for the penalties, but we didn't tell Cillessen, as we didn't want to ruin his preparation.
Netherlands 0 Costa Rica 0 (4-3 on penalties) player ratings
Netherlands 0 Costa Rica 0 (4-3 on penalties) player ratings
1/9 Netherlands - Goalkeeper
Jasper Cillessen – Showed what an excellent attitude he has when substituted in the very last minute and delivered a decent display beforehand. Had precious little do for most of the game. 7
2/9 Netherlands - Defenders
Ron Vlaar – Should have scored at least twice, with two headed efforts, but remained firm at the back. 7 Stefan De Vrij – After any game which ends nil-nil, the centre-backs are going to receive praise and this tie is no different. Stefan De Vrij was as impressive as ever tonight. 7 Bruno Martins Indi – Perhaps fortunate not to concede a penalty in the closing stages of normal time, Bruno Martins Indi was typically sturdy at the back. 7
3/9 Netherlands - Midfielders
Daley Blind – Playing just in front of the backline, rather than in his more familiar position of left-back, Daley Blind struggled to acclimate to his new role. 6.5 Georginio Wijnaldum – Was tested on the counter attack on more than one occasion and proved to be of little obstruction to them. 6 Dirk Kuyt – An ineffective first-half was followed by a hard working second period. Kept running and running. 7 Memphis Depay – While few of the Dutch forays into the Costa Rican half had Memphis Depay at the heart of them, his contribution in the latter stages was invaluable. 7
4/9 Netherlands - Forwards
Wesley Sneijder – The best Dutch player on the pitch. After coming in for some criticism over the previous few weeks, the Galatasaray winger will feel vindicated tonight. His delivery, pace and precision were all spot on. 8 Arjen Robben – Was clearly making a conscious effort to stay on his feet, in response to the controversy of late, and proved to be his usual menacing self. 7.5 Robin van Persie – Could have scored five goals tonight. If Netherlands had fallen to defeat, he would have surely have felt to blame. 6
5/9 Netherlands - Best off the bench
Tim Krul – Justified Louis van Gaal’s daring decision to bring him on in the very last minute of extra-time. Making two vital penalty stops, he won the Dutch the game. 9
6/9 Costa Rica - Goalkeeper
Keylor Navas – One of the true stars of this World Cup, Keylor Navas was on top form again. Despite the one wobble in the second half, and the fact that he didn’t save a single penalty, this was another thoroughly impressive display in normal and extra time. 7.5
7/9 Costa Rica - Defenders
Johnny Acosta – Remained strong, even as the Dutch pressed forwards in the later stages, and refused to be beaten. 7 Giancarlo Gonzalez – A warrior at the heart of the Costa Rican defence, it’s no surprise at all that Netherlands couldn’t break the backline down with Giancarlo in the line-up. Stunning display. 8 Michael Umana – A defensive general, Micheal Umana will be gutted to have missed the all-important spot kick. 7 Junior Diaz – Mightily lucky not to have been sent off, after a series of bookable offences following his initial yellow card, this was an otherwise strong performance. 7 Cristian Gamboa – A player who worried Netherlands when he branched forwards, Cristian Gamboa was just as impressive at the back. 8
8/9 Costa Rica - Midfielders
Celso Borges – Taking the first penalty, and scoring it, this was an efficient display in the middle of the Costa Rican midfield. 7 Christian Bolanos – Worrying the Dutch supporters with his abilities up front, Christian Bolanos also knocked Robin van Persie’s late effort onto the crossbar. Fine display. 7.5 Bryan Luiz – One of the surprises of this tournament, Bryan Luiz didn’t quite live up to his billing tonight. 6.5 Yeltsin Tejeda – Had an important job to do in the middle of the park and did it admirably. 7
9/9 Costa Rica - Forwards
Joel Campbell – While he may have impressed beforehand, Joel Campbell achieved very little tonight. While admittedly isolated, he could have done more. 6
The Oranje had numerous chances to win the game without the need for spot-kicks but were denied by the woodwork three times as well as by an inspired display from Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas.
"It was that kind of night when the ball did not want to go in," midfielder Wesley Sneijder added. "But despite all of our hard work we still went into the penalty shoot-out sharp.
"There was only one team that deserved to go to the semi-finals and it was us. If you work hard you go very far."
Holland, runners-up four years ago in South Africa, take on Argentina in the last four on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.
"Now we have to think of Argentina," Krul said. "It will be a very difficult game."
Navas lamented his team's elimination from the World Cup but believes they have done their nation proud.
Los Ticos had never reached the quarter-final stages of the competition and had gone unbeaten in Brazil before losing 4-3 on penalties in Salvador.
"We lost everything in a penalty shoot-out and we go home sad but with our heads held high," Navas said to Costa Rica newspaper CRhoy.com. "It's hard but this is life."
Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana saw their spot-kicks saved by Krul while the Dutch converted all of their attempts.
"We cannot blame anyone because to be there at that time is not easy," Navas said. "Our rivals did their job in the penalty shoot -out and we didn't."
Navas was named as FIFA's man of the match for the third time in this tournament after the Levante goalkeeper again came up with a string of good saves to keep his side in the game.
"One just tries to help, to do a good job," the 27-year-old said. "I thank God.
"I always try to make sure that no ball goes in and the posts certainly helped us. Fortunately, Holland didn't score throughout the game."
Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto praised his players.
"We are not a world football power but we have done very important things here," Pinto said. "When it comes to penalties, you have to understand the player, the pressure and the circumstances they are in.
"We did a great job."
Pinto, whose side surprisingly finished ahead of Uruguay, Italy and England in the group stages to progress to the knock-out rounds, admitted the Dutch were the better side.
"We were lucky throughout the game," Pinto said. "Navas was brilliant and spectacular.
"We go home proud of what we have done and I want to express my gratitude to the Brazilian people."