Back-up Netherlands goalkeeper Tim Krul became an unlikely hero when he came into the World Cup quarterfinal match against Costa Rica in the 120th minute and promptly won the penalty shootout.
He was also the target of criticism for his “antics” during the shootout.
Before the Costa Rican players took their penalty kicks, Krul walked up to them and tried to psych them out.
“I told them I knew where they were going because I had analysed it. It worked,” he explained the BBC on Sunday.
ESPN cameras caught him saying something to the Costa Ricans on the first three penalty kicks. He walked right up to the kickers before retreating to his goal.
The crazy part: Krul was actually telling the truth. He dove the right direction on all five penalty kicks. Three of them went in anyway, but Krul saved the other two and the Netherlands won the match.
“I psyched them out. You try to do everything you can without being too aggressive. I tried to get in their minds. I watched them [Costa Rica] against Greece and studied them and I told the players that I knew where they were going to shoot to make them a bit nervous. Maybe it worked.
“It happened before when I played against Frank Lampard: I told him that I knew and I saved it. I just tried that again. I’m so happy it worked today.”
Krul is expected to start on the bench again in the semifinal against Argentina.
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