Van Gaal’s constant tampering with playing formations throughout the 90 minutes of their 2-1 win over Mexico has been credited for the Dutch win that booked their position in the last eight of the World Cup.

Kuyt himself was played in three different positions throughout the pulsating encounter that the Dutch won in the last moments of the game after being 1-0 down till the 88th minute of the match.

Kuyt, who earned his 100th international cap with the Netherlands, started as a left-back against Mexico but then shifted to right back and eventually as a striker to help the Dutch find an equalizer after Giovani dos Santos had found the net for the Latin American team three minutes into the second half.

"He's maybe the best tactically there is in the world," Kuyt said.

“It doesn't matter what system we are playing the players know exactly what to do. He told us before the game already that we could switch system if we were 1-0 down,” he added.

“We switched to 4-3-3 then 15 minutes before the end of the game he decided to put an extra striker to play longer balls and looks for second balls and we managed to score a goal so his tactics were once again spot on,” the former Liverpool man said.

Van Gaal’s brave decision to replace in-form Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie by Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar also paid dividends as the latter scored one and assisted one during his brief cameo.

Van Gaal takes advantage of cooling break

Meanwhile, Van Gaal said on Sunday that his team changed tactics in the second half to win the crucial game against Mexico.

The Dutch victory marked the first time in World Cup knockout round history that a team trailing in the 88th minute won in regulation.

Van Gaal said he made his switch during the cooling break, huddling with his players as they drank from bottles on the sideline.

"I moved to 'Plan B' at the cooling break," said Van Gaal.

"That is a good way to take advantage of those breaks,” the newly-appointed Manchester United manager said.

As he did earlier against Australia, Van Gaal switched his team around in the second half, changing from the more defensive 5-3-2 system to the traditional Dutch attacking 4-3-3 formation.

"Yes, we escaped," Van Gaal said.

"But we showed that we could create more chances with 4-3-3, and the players handled this shift very well,” he said.

(JPN)

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