Cillessen has been caught by surprise by the decision to replace him with Tim Krul just minutes from the end of extra time as coach Louis van Gaal reckoned Krul would be the better goalkeeper for the shootout.
"I want to apologise. I've already done to Frans Hoek (the Dutch goalkeeper coach) and I will do so to the whole squad. I knew nothing about this. The change was a shock to my system," he told reporters.
Cillessen stormed off and kicked out at several water bottles before taking his place on the bench but once Krul had made two decisive saves to ensure a 4-3 win on penalties after a goalless draw, Cillessen was among the first to rush on to the field to congratulate his replacement.
"In the 119th minute, Jasper made a fantastic save that if he had not pulled off would have meant we would be going home," Krul said.
Van Gaal's decision to replace Cillessen with Krul if the match went to penalties was one he seemingly kept from almost all his players.
Most had no idea before the change.
"Cillessen certainly not because I did not want him distracted. But I had told Tim and he was prepared, he knew in exactly which corner Costa Rica would take their penalties. We had studied their kicks against Greece (in the previous round)," Van Gaal said.
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- Tim Krul