Pitch Dish

Tim Krul’s and the Netherlands Secret Penalty Kick Strategy

Netherlands manager Louis Van Gaal, in the last minute of extra time, put in the Newcastle goal-keeper, who saved two spot-kicks as his side won 4-3 on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Van Gaal said that this was always the plan and that he made the substitution because of Krul’s greater reach. He just never told current goal-keeper Jasper Cilleson, who walked off the field angry and kicking a water bottle.

“I didn’t know it was going to happen, so I was angry. I wanted to play the penalty shootout.”

Krul said he spoke to every Costa Rica player about to take a penalty to “try to get in their heads”.

“I told them I knew where they were going because I had analysed it. It worked.”

Costa Rica most probably prepared their players to face Cilleson and never bothered to study Krul. Krul on the other hand had a week to carefully study each of them. It completely blind-sided Costa Rica and was a tactical masterstroke from Van Gaal.

So how did he do it?

Walks One Way, Dives The Other

Take a look at the following graphic…this explains part of the mind-games Krul used before each shot:


Watch Every Penalty Taken

Now watch all the penalty kicks by both keepers:

[pwal id=”73814780″ description=”Help us out! To watch the video, share this page by clicking one of the buttons below:”]


So will this be a new tactic we are sure to see in more games?

Maybe…but it has back-fired before. In the semi-final of the German Cup a few years ago, Borussia Dortmund avoided penalties by scoring on the penalty specialist brought in the 122nd minute. After the substitution, Dortmund attacked, Gundogan took a shot from outside the box, off the post, off the back of the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. Game over, 1-0.

Image: Getty Images
Read More: bbc.com

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