The Dutch Coach raised eyebrows when he introduced Krul at the 121st minute of a World Cup quarter-final against Costa Rica.
It paid off, as the substitute saved two out of five Costa Rica spot-kicks to book a semi-final date with Argentina.
“There is no question about who will start next game, it will be Cillessen. But we felt Krul was the better choice here,” explained Van Gaal.
“We told Krul that he would be a possibility for the penalties, but we didn’t tell Cillessen, as we didn’t want to ruin his preparation.
“We have practiced penalties, I believe when you’re used to a certain shot you’ll be more comfortable taking that shot.”
The Netherlands traditionally struggle for unity in major tournaments, but seem a different prospect in Brazil.
“This is the best group I’ve worked with. In terms of team spirit and togetherness,” added Van Gaal.
“I thought we had more quality than Costa Rica. I thought that with three strikers we could hurt them more.”
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