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At halftime: Navas keeping Costa Rica alive vs Dutch -- FOLLOW LIVE

Brazil Soccer WCup Netherlands Costa Rica

Netherlands’ Arjen Robben warms up before the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Costa Rica at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Saturday, July 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)


The Netherlands had plenty of possession against a Costa Rica team playing a defensive 5-2-3 of sorts in the first half of Saturday’s semifinal at the Arena Fonte Nova.

The finishing touch was not applied, and the teams walked to the break knotted at zero.


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Other key moments:

21' -- Dirk Kuyt starts a swing that ends with the ball on Robin van Persie’s foot 15 yards from goal and 1v1 with Keylor Navas. RVP’s shot is parried away by the Costa Rican keeper, and the backstop collects the long rebound attempt as well.

29' -- A fancy combination with a run-and-feed from Robin van Persie to Memphis Depay into the 18 ends with Memphis’ turn to try and best Navas 1v1... and he can’t! The Levante keeper continues to see his star grow.

34' -- Netherlands is playing with fire, as Bolanos gets to take two free kicks from dangerous distance. Here we see Costa Rica’s best chance at goal, but it’s cleared away by the Dutch.

39' -- Sneijder!! So close on a free kick from 25 yards out, but Navas gets full extension to push the ball away from the upper 90.


Netherlands: Cillessen, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind, Van Persie (c), Sneijder, Robben, Kuyt, Wijnaldum, Depay

Costa Rica: Navas, Acosta, Gonzalez, Umana, Borges, Bolanos, Campbell, Ruiz (c), Diaz, Gamboa, Tejeda

Question for the second half

What does Jorge Luis Pinto have in his back of tricks? If the match is played like the first half, the Netherlands should find a goal while Costa Rica will have a lot of trouble finding a finish. What does the manager have in store?

Follow @nicholasmendola