Tim Krul was at the centre of one of the biggest stories in World Cup history as he saved two penalties in a penalty shootout to earn Holland a World Cup semi-final place.

Krul was on the bench for the game – as he had been in all Holland’s previous games – but was sent on with seconds to go in extra time by manager Louis van Gaal.

The move was obviously a gamble from the new Manchester United manager on the Newcastle keeper making the penalty saves to send his nation through at the expense of Costa Rica and it paid off in dramatic style.

Krul’s first involvement in the game was to face Celso Borges from 12 yards but the midfielder slotted it narrowly past the Toon keeper’s hand to give the Central Americans the lead in the shootout.

Robin van Persie then levelled before Fulham midfielder Bryan Ruiz faced the Newcastle goalie and was denied with a low effort.

Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt netted for the Netherlands before Michael Umana was denied by Krul and van Gaal’s side won the shootout 4-3.

Such an audacious substitution has never been seen before at the World Cup but van Gaal will now receive huge adulation for having the courage to take off Jasper Cillessen – who had kept Holland in the game with a good late save – and put Krul on for penalties.

It was clear Krul had been doing his homework for the high-pressure kicks, as he went the right way with every Costa Rica effort and saved two spot kicks to send Holland into a World Cup semi-final against Argentina.