Tim Krul was an unlikely hero as the Netherlands secured a 4-3 shoot-out win over Costa Rica to book a FIFA World Cup semi-final place.
Over 120 goalless minutes in Salvador, Louis van Gaal's team struck the post or crossbar on three occasions and the Manchester United-bound manager unleashed an unexpected secret weapon from the bench during the dying seconds of extra time.
Krul, who has an unremarkable penalty record at Newcastle United, came on for Jasper Cillessen to save Costa Rica's second and last penalties from Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana. Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt were the Netherlands' flawless foursome.
It ends a remarkable journey for tournament outsiders Costa Rica, who won a group featuring Uruguay, Italy and England before beating Greece on spot kicks. But this proved a step too far as the Dutch, who had lost four of their previous five shootouts in major tournaments, banished their demons from 12 yards to book a last-four appointment with Argentina
Costa Rica combined the organisation and attacking verve that has been their hallmark in Brazil, but ambition going forward left them exposed to the Netherlands' incision on the break and indebted to inspirational goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Jorge Luis Pinto's team were in confident mood as the game entered its final stages before Sneijder rattled the post from a free-kick to herald a late onslaught. But Van Persie proved uncharacteristically wasteful in spurning three goalscoring opportunities, including one close-range sitter, as the Netherlands failed in their bid to avoid an extra half hour.
Sneijder crashed a shot into the bar, while Costa Rica substitute Michael Urena threatened to snatch the headlines that would ultimately be Krul's
Memphis Depay, starting having twice netted from the bench in this tournament, gave Van Persie the game's first clear opening in the 21st minute but Navas closed the angle well and stopped Sneijder's follow up.
Navas saved well in the 29th minute as Van Persie and Depay reversed their earlier roles, while a frantic Dutch clearance as Johnny Acosta looked to turn home Celso Borges' set-piece knockdown underlined a developing end-to-end feel.
Sneijder took a more direct approach from a 38th-minute free-kick, conceded by Junior Diaz, but Navas - quelling fears surrounding a shoulder injury that dogged him earlier in the week - clawed superbly around the post.
Robben's admission that he dived during the Netherlands' win over Mexico in the previous round dominated the pre-match build-up and Umana followed Diaz into the book after he too fouled the forward, who cleverly set up Sneijder to blaze over from the resulting 53rd-minute set play.
It was Joel Campbell and not his illustrious opponent who went to ground easily in the 60th minute as a promising Diaz raid down the left came to nothing, before Giancarlo Gonzalez headed over from another fine Christian Bolanos delivery to increase Dutch anxiety.
There was contact from Gonzalez and another booking as Robben went to ground theatrically in the 81st minute. Sneijder watched his free-kick from the left-hand corner of the area cannon back off the post.
Van Persie was then denied by Navas and he somehow failed to connect with Sneijder's delicious 88th-minute cross.
The Manchester United man was not done there and - after Navas punched his free-kick away in stoppage time - Costa Rica midfielder Yeltsin Tejeda cleared Van Persie's shot off the goal line via the crossbar, Daley Blind's low centre having caused complete chaos.
The start of extra time brought little let-up and Navas produced further acrobatics to keep out Ron Vlaar's header.
Urena crafted his team's best chance, drawing a nerveless 117th-minute save from Cillessen at the end of a jinking run and penalties arrived after Sneijder rattled the crossbar from distance with Navas rooted to the spot.
When the heat was on from 12 yards shortly afterwards, Krul was anything but.
|3||S. de Vrij|
|4||B. Martins Indi||64'|
|9||R. van Persie|
|Coach: L. van Gaal|
for M. Depay 76'
for B. Martins Indi 106'
for J. Cillessen 120+1'
|Fabregas dismisses exit rumours, committed to Conte and Chelsea|
|De Boer encouraged as Inter´s wait continues|
|Barca ´strengthened´ by Luis Enrique´s 100th win|
|Fekir to undergo knee operation|
|Monaco 3 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Ligue 1 champions suffer early loss|
|Aguero facing possible Manchester derby ban|
|Athletic Bilbao 0 Barcelona 1: Rakitic strike extends Barca´s strong start|
|West Ham´s Antonio handed first England call-up|
|Guardiola ´so optimistic´ after Man City´s perfect start|
|Inter 1 Palermo 1: Icardi gets De Boer´s men off the mark|
|Credit Guardiola for boost in form, says Sterling|
|Manchester City 3 West Ham 1: Hosts stay perfect under Guardiola|
|Cavani won´t return to Napoli - De Laurentiis|
|Pulis puts 48-hour deadline on Berahino future|
|Zaza awaits ´new adventure´ at West Ham|
|Karanka open to transfer ´surprises´ after strong Middlesbrough start|
|Dost completes Sporting move|
|Allardyce wanted N´Zonzi for England|
|World Cup could be expanded - Infantino|
|West Brom 0 Middlesbrough 0: Booed Berahino benched for dour draw|
|Gyan´s ´destiny´ in England, Sunderland return an option|
|Zidane wanted Pogba and Madrid are weaker without him - Raiola|
|Juventus end Matuidi pursuit|
|´He´s freaking amazing!´ - Balogun hails Dortmund´s Dembele|
|Thohir thrilled as Inter confirm Joao Mario signing|
|Fabinho expects Monaco stay despite Manchester United links|
|Infantino has Blatter wine cellar removed as part of FIFA reform commitment|
|West Ham seal Zaza loan|
|Joao Mario posts heartfelt thanks to Sporting after record-breaking Inter move|
|Aguero: I´m not competing with Ibrahimovic|
|Mihajlovic: Maksimovic is dead to me|
|Risdon replaces Wright for Socceroos|
|MLS Review: DC United in goal-fest, Impact stun Toronto|
|Schmeichel to undergo surgery|
|Milik revels in ´dream´ brace as he ignores Higuain shadow|
|Rossi to join Celta Vigo|
|Ayestaran: Barcelona target Alcacer unable to compete|
|Simeone: Winless Atletico must remain calm|
|Griezmann: Atletico must improve or face relegation fight|
|Sterling ´feels the love´ at City - Guardiola|
|Stones glad he did not end up at Chelsea|
|James impact earns Zidane´s praise|
|Montella bemoans AC Milan´s indiscipline|
|Leganes 0 Atletico Madrid 0: Returning Griezmann fails to inspire turgid visitors|
|Everton fan passes away after taking ill at Goodison Park|
|Napoli 4 AC Milan 2: Milik and Callejon at the double against Montella´s nine men|
|Aubameyang eyes Lewandowski duel|
|International break timely for Hull recruitment - Phelan|
|Real Madrid 2 Celta Vigo 1: Late Kroos strike saves hosts|
|Mourinho worry over Fellaini back injury|
|Allegri marvels at ´exceptional´ Khedira|
|Mourinho promises more chances for matchwinner Rashford|
|We didn´t play our best - Tuchel|
|Rashford: Setbacks part of football|
|No hiding, Arsenal want the title - Cech|
|Hull City 0 Manchester United 1: Rashford´s late show thwarts Phelan´s battlers|
|Bamford nearing Burnley loan|
|Leicester proved they are still one of the best - Guidolin|
|Pardew stands by unsettled Zaha|
|Koeman sympathises with Hughes´ frustration|
|Lazio 0 Juventus 1: Khedira nets again as Allegri´s men prevail|
|Moyes defends Pickford after late howler|
|Conte: Hazard can still improve|
|Hughes bemoans confusion over new refereeing directives|
|Howe regrets Bournemouth caution|
|Home draw leaves Puel frustrated|
|´A goalscorer never forgets´ - Ranieri thrilled as Vardy returns to form|
|Derby sign Vydra from Watford|
|Wenger flags imminent arrival of Mustafi, Perez|
|Crystal Palace 1 Bournemouth 1: Dann late show denies Cherries|
|Southampton 1 Sunderland 1: Pickford howler costs Black Cats two points|
|Chelsea 3 Burnley 0: Hazard shines in dominant win|
|Everton 1 Stoke City 0: Joy for Koeman at Given´s expense|
|Leicester City 2 Swansea City 1: Vardy and Morgan give champions first win|
|Watford 1 Arsenal 3: Sanchez inspires Gunners´ first win of the season|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Mainz 1: Aubameyang double seals winning start for Tuchel´s men|
|Klopp defends benching Sturridge|
|Pochettino satisfied with Liverpool draw|
|Milner: Liverpool didn´t do enough after leading|
|Lahm ready to run the hard yards for Ancelotti|
|United have the fear factor back - Shaw|
|Tottenham 1 Liverpool 1: Rose denies Klopp´s men victory|
|Donnarumma called up as Ventura turns to youth|
|´Unique, exceptional work´ - Luis Enrique hails departed Bravo|
|Luis Enrique won´t rule out Munir exit|
|Portugal´s powerhouses divide to conquer once more|
|Ter Stegen, Mascherano in Barcelona squad for Athletic clash|
|Guardiola passion infectious, says Bravo|
|Palermo confident of Balotelli deal|
|Bayern are free of Guardiola´s chains, says Scholl|
|Ronaldo: I´ll be back in no time|
|Colombia name squad for Venezuela, Brazil qualifiers|
|Pellegrini becomes Hebei China Fortune coach|
|Klopp has ´no doubt´ over Henderson´s Liverpool future|
|Lallana understands questions over Liverpool displays|
|Real Salt Lake 2 Colorado Rapids 1: Movsisyan at the double|
|Wenger insists Perez and Mustafi are not panic buys|
|Ranieri confident of Vardy resurgence|
|Atletico send Jota on loan to Porto|
|Mourinho not rushing ´super´ Mkhitaryan|
|Bayern to meet Augsburg, Dortmund face Union in DFB-Pokal second round|