After the semi-final clash ended goalless after the stipulated 90 minutes of play and 30 minutes of extra period, Argentina went on to beat Netherlands 4-2 in the penalty shootout to seal their position in the final where they would face high-flying Germany.

Van Gaal has revealed how two players from his team refused to take the all-important first penalty of the shootout, forcing him to pick Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar for the task.

The future Manchester United manager also praised Vlaar for his immense performance throughout the game.

Van Gaal said, “You need to score the first one and I asked two players to take the first ball before ending up with Vlaar”.

“I thought he was the best player on the pitch so should have a lot of confidence, but it goes to show it’s not easy scoring in a penalty shoot-out,” he added.

“It’s a very humiliating question to be asked who the players were,” he said.

Van Gaal also regretted the fact that he could not use his specialist penalty-saver Tim Krul during the game.

Jasper Cillessen had never saved a penalty in his professional career and he failed to stop all four spot-kicks, sending Argentina into the final after Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder's efforts were saved.

The Dutch beat Costa Rica on penalties in the quarter-finals after Van Gaal brought on substitute keeper Krul just for the shootout and he made two fine saves.
               
But Van Gaal had used all three substitutions against Argentina, including taking off exhausted striker Robin van Persie in extra time, so Cillessen had to stay on the field after the match ended 0-0.
               
"If I had had the opportunity to substitute Jasper I would have done that but I had already used three substitutes so I couldn't do that," the Dutch coach told reporters.
               
"I thought it was necessary to get Van Persie out because he was on his last legs," he added.

"My feeling was that (Klaas-Jan) Huntelaar would make the goal," he said.

(JPN)

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