Michael Owen: No wonder Van Gaal put Krul on last time

Michael Owen believes Tim Krul could have won the Netherlands their World Cup semi-final against Argentina.

The former Liverpool, Newcastle United and Manchester United striker criticised Jasper Cillessen's performance during the Netherlands' penalty shootout, suggesting the Ajax stopper could have saved three of Argentina's four penalties.

Both sides played out a much-maligned 0-0 draw over 120 minutes, before Alejandro Sabella's men prevailed from the spot.

The Netherlands missed two penalties, with Ron Vlaar failing to convert the opening spot-kick and Wesley Sneijder also being denied by Sergio Romero, while Argentina scored all four of their penalties.

After the match, Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal admitted he would have brought Newcastle goalkeeper Krul on if he hadn't have used all of his available substitutions.

In the previous round against Costa Rica, the 62-year-old made the bold move of bringing Krul on at the very end of extra-time just for the penalty shootout, in which he made two saves to help eliminate the Costa Ricans.

And Owen says he now sees why the new Man United boss used Krul in the previous round, suggesting Cillessen couldn't get anywhere near the penalties.

Argentina will now face Germany, who beat Brazil 7-1 in the other semi-final, in Sunday's World Cup final.

For Van Gaal, meanwhile, the Brazilians await in the third-place play-off, before the 62-year-old officially begins his work at Old Trafford.

For Krul, normal service will resume when he returns to St James' Park. But how different could things have been were he in goal for that crucial shootout?

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