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'
|Inter warn Napoli Icardi is not for sale|
|Zanetti wants Simeone back at Inter|
|Stoke snap up Sobhi|
|PSG tougher under Emery - Lucas Moura|
|Totti not ready for retirement - Pallotta|
|Confident Allardyce reveals plan for England success|
|Pochettino to discard three Tottenham players|
|Allardyce: Rooney must wait for captaincy decision|
|Aubameyang: I will only leave Dortmund for Real Madrid|
|Allegri silences questions on Pogba|
|Bruce stands by decision to quit Hull City|
|Pochettino: Not the right time for Argentina job|
|Inter yet to approach De Boer with Mancini exit rumoured|
|Ancelotti trusts me more than Guardiola - Ribery|
|Wijnaldum rejected Everton for Klopp|
|Pre-season Manchester derby cancelled|
|Coutinho excited by ´fast´ Liverpool recruits|
|Cristiano Ronaldo and Conor McGregor step into the ring together|
|Mancini coy on reports linking Icardi to Napoli|
|Nolito reveals why he chose Man City over Barcelona|
|Inter 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Icardi absence in defeat fuels Napoli talk|
|MLS Review: Wright-Phillips double inspires Red Bulls to New York derby rout|
|James seeks more game time at Madrid|
|Rooney: I want to be a manager|
|Mignolet welcomes Karius challenge in Liverpool number one battle|
|Batshuayi buoyed by winning vibes at Chelsea|
|Moyes and Sunderland players diverted after plane fault|
|´Loved´ Varane targets long Madrid stay|
|Kostic set for Hamburg medical|
|Leicester crying over Kante sale - Ranieri|
|Schurrle the perfect Mkhitaryan replacement - Tuchel|
|West Ham face anxious wait on Cresswell injury|
|Mourinho will accept criticism from United legends|
|Bertolacci desperate for fresh start after underwhelming first season at Milan|
|Hoops hand Toure one-year deal|
|Origi ready to fight for Liverpool spot|
|Emery wants PSG stay for ´fantastic´ Matuidi|
|No Barcelona offer for Vietto - Cerezo|
|Burnley apologise for racist abuse from supporter|
|Guardiola will not rush Kompany comeback|
|Of course I´ll shake Guardiola´s hand, snaps riled Mourinho|
|Watzke: No more signings for Dortmund|
|Roma expect Manolas to snub Premier League move|
|Adriano set to leave Barcelona for Besiktas|
|Manchester United in worst possible situation - Mourinho|
|Sporting would have to sell stadium to afford Van Persie - Jesus|
|Jonas´ agent confirms Barcelona approach|
|No problem with Mourinho, insists Guardiola ahead of derby in China|
|Toronto´s hat-trick hero Giovinco: I´m back|
|Drogba revels in ´special night´, dedicates hat-trick to family|
|MLS Review: Hat-tricks for Drogba and Giovinco as stars shine|
|Whelan backs Liverpool for top-four finish|
|Pellegrini still waiting for right offer|
|Ronaldo deserves to win Ballon d´Or - Vazquez|
|Phelan wants Hull job|
|Alaba saddened by Gotze exit|
|Morgan: Vardy right to re-sign|
|Maradona ´hurting´ as Higuain closes on Juventus move|
|Moyes watches Sunderland win, Ibe opens account in six-goal Bournemouth thriller|
|Messi cuts short holiday for Barcelona training camp|
|Ranieri still confident of keeping Mahrez|
|Toure to complete Celtic move on Sunday, says Rodgers|
|Vietto sends Simeone a reminder amid Barcelona links|
|Celtic 1 Leicester City 1 (5-6 on penalties): Mahrez magic the highlight as Ranieri´s side triumph i|
|Ribery, Alaba on target in Bayern win|
|Neymar hails Micale ahead of Olympic tilt|
|Ronaldo wants Real Madrid renewal|
|Ochoa joins Granada from Malaga|
|Heidel quashes Meyer to Liverpool as ´nonsense´|
|Scholes challenges Allardyce to change England mentality|
|Tenerife star Crosas investigated for killing endangered shark|
|De Gea: Manchester United can win title under Mourinho|
|Marseille replace Batshuayi with brother Leya Iseka|
|Cristiano Ronaldo: Best season of my career|
|Scholes: Pogba is not worth £100million|
|Gotze has not forgotten how to play football - Riedle|
|Delph learning more than ever under Guardiola|
|Jovetic ´not worried´ about Juventus|
|Allardyce wants Euro 2016 woes to fire his England|
|Giggs not in a rush to take manager´s job|
|Lopetegui: If not for Spain I would be Wolves boss|
|Shaw one of best left-backs in world - Herrera|
|Injured Sanchez to miss Arsenal tour|
|Melbourne Victory 1 Juventus 1 (Melbourne win 4-3 on pens): Thomas inspires Victory as Juve pay pena|
|Janssen: Ajax and PSV were never going to pay as much as Tottenham|
|Bayern to make Munich shooting tributes|
|Wenger wishes luck to old foe Allardyce|
|United defender Varela joins Frankfurt on loan|
|Sunderland appoint Moyes as Allardyce replacement|
|Javi Martinez devastated by Munich shootings|
|Rooney: I´m desperate to play for Mourinho, just like under Ferguson|
|Godin: Champions League the dream, but LaLiga the focus|
|Klopp hails Wijnaldum´s ´football smartness´|
|Klavan ready to fight for starting spot after completing ´dream´ Liverpool move|
|Real Salt Lake 1 San Jose Earthquakes 1: Mulholland salvages point|
|Madeira airport to be named after Cristiano Ronaldo|
|Villar, Ceferin and Van Praag announce UEFA presidential bid|
|Witsel has offers from England and Italy|
|Tuchel will bring out Gotze´s best - Watzke|
|Swansea confirm interest in Liverpool´s Allen|
|Arsenal´s Coquelin: LeBron v Curry is like Messi v Ronaldo|
|Rooney backs Allardyce appointment|
|Bayern and Ancelotti respond to Munich attacks|
|West Brom friendly cancelled over violence concerns|