Netherlands goalkeeper Tim Krul insists he did nothing wrong in confronting Costa Rica's penalty takers during a World Cup quarterfinal shootout.
Krul's crucial two saves on Sunday night followed his novel tactic that tested FIFA's guidelines on fair play. The substitute goalie faced up to opponents at the penalty spot and repeatedly told them he knew where they'd place their shots.
"I don't think I have done anything wrong," Krul said at a team news conference. "I haven't shouted at [them] in an aggressive manner. I haven't done anything crazy. I just told them I knew where they are going."
The Dutch team's 4-3 shootout win after a 0-0 draw set up a semifinal against Argentina.
Krul said he would do the same again if Wednesday's match goes to a shootout and he again gets substituted in for Jasper Cillessen, who is expected to start in the Dutch goal.
"I am trying obviously to get into their heads and it worked," said Krul, who instantly entered World Cup lore, both as a rare replacement and for his trash talk. "I use everything in my power to make it happen."
Mind games helped
Krul said he learned just before the match that he might be called on in a penalty shootout. Cillessen said he was not told.
"The manager and the goalie coach told me before the game that if we had another substitution left it was a possible he would use me in the penalty shootout," Krul said. "So obviously for me the whole game I was watching it with a different view."
Krul said it had been "difficult" sitting on the bench the entire World Cup and watching Cillessen play, craving his chance to start a match.
"I'm really pleased the manager showed confidence in me to put me in a quarter-final of a World Cup," Krul said. "That's something to be really proud of. There is no jealously, but I would love to play. There is nothing better than playing for your country, but Jasper is our No. 1 at the moment."
Asked if his late appearance in extra time unsettled the Costa Rica team, Krul said it probably did.
"When I started my warm up the whole bench was kind of confused what is going on," he said, recalling Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto reaction to Dutch coach Louis van Gaal's move.
"If you see their manager's face, he was looking at our manager," Krul said. "His face was priceless, I think."