The Netherlands attacker says the squad are united, and believes the substitute keeper’s penalty heroics prove that everyone has a role to play
Arjen Robben has hailed the togetherness of the Netherlandssquad after their dramatic penalty shoot-out win in the World Cup quarter-final against Costa Rica.
Tim Krul replaced starting goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in the dying moments of extra-time and went on to save two penalties as the Dutch won 4-3 after a 0-0 draw.
And while intra-squad troubles have been cited as a reason for struggles in the past, Robben believes the substitute’s impact and the scenes of celebration afterwards prove that Louis van Gaal’s squad are united for the cause.
“[In the dressing room afterwards] it was a party. We were so good at the penalties too, compliments to Tim. It shows we do it all together,” Robben told NOS.
“We deserved to win. The only problem today was that we didn’t score. I’ll probably get into cliches again, but this was a great team effort.”
Robben had been in the spotlight going into the game following the controversial manner in which he won a late penalty against Mexico in the previous round.
But the Bayern Munich star insisted he pays no attention to what is said off the pitch.
“A lot has been said about diving, but I get tired of it all,” he added. “I get kicked from all sides, but luckily I am still fit. I felt that I could make the difference, but didn’t get the ball enough.
“I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, but I was all up in this game. I felt I was good.”
Team-mate Wesley Sneijder admitted that he started to wonder if it wasn’t going to be his side’s night.
“We played well, we had chances, but it felt like things weren’t going our way. And in the end, that starts to tingle a bit,” he said.
The Netherlands will face Argentina in Wednesday’s semi-final in Sao Paulo, with the winners going on to meet Brazil or Germany in next Sunday’s final.