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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – 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 Saturday came after his novel tactic that tested FIFA’s guidelines on fair play. The substitute keeper faced up to opponents at the penalty spot and repeatedly told them he knew where they would 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 victory, after a 0-0 draw through extra time, set up a semifinal against Argentina.

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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.”

Krul said he learned shortly before the match 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 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 and watching Cillessen play, craving his chance to start a World Cup match.

“I’m really pleased the manager showed confidence in me to put me in a quarterfinal 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 number one at the moment.”

Asked if his late appearance in extra time unsettled the Costa Rica team, Krul said it probably did.

Krul recalled Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto’s 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.”

Argentina’s Di Maria is out

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil – Argentina midfielder Angel Di Maria has been ruled out of the World Cup semifinal against the Netherlands because of a thigh injury while striker Sergio Aguero has been declared fit to play after recovering from a similar problem.

Di Maria limped off the field in the first half of Argentina’s quarterfinal victory over Belgium on Saturday after straining a muscle in his right thigh.

Di Maria scored in the 118th minute to give Argentina a 1-0 victory over Switzerland in the round of 16.


• The four World Cup quarterfinals averaged 10.29 million viewers in the United States combined on ABC, ESPN networks and Spanish-language Univision.

Host Brazil’s 2-1 victory over Colombia on Friday was the most-viewed quarterfinal in the United States, with 11.84 million viewers: 6.35 million on ESPN and 5.49 million on Univision.

• World Cup attendance is on pace to have the second-highest average of all time.

The average crowd after 60 matches in Brazil is 52,762, ahead of the 52,491 mark for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The record was set in the United States at the 1994 World Cup, when an average of 68,991 attended the 52 matches in a 24-team tournament.

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