QF preview: Holland v Costa Rica

The Dutch are big favorites to beat Costa Rica, but Los Ticos have prospered with their underdog status in Brazil.

    Costa Rica are unbeaten in four World Cup games for the very first time (W2, D2) [GALLO/GETTY]
    Costa Rica are unbeaten in four World Cup games for the very first time (W2, D2) [GALLO/GETTY]

    Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal was not giving away tactics on the eve of his team's quarter-final clash with the World Cup's biggest surprise package in Costa Rica at Salvador's Arena Fonte Nova.

    But he is unlikely to change a formula that defeated Chile and Mexico: defending solidly and looking to strike on the counterattack. And if that fails to work, switching to a 4-3-3 formation and pushing forward in search of a goal.

    Free-scoring Dutch
    Louis van Gaal's side have scored an unrivalled 12 goals at this World Cup prior to the quarter-finals. Seven of their 12 goals have come from different players.

    Van Gaal added that the quality of the Costa Rica players was 'different' to the star-studded Chile lineup, but that does not mean that his team will be taking for granted a team that shocked the tournament by winning a group that also featured three former champions in Italy, England and Uruguay.

    Even if Costa Rica manage to score first, Van Gaal is confident his resilient team can battle back from a goal deficit as they have three times already in Brazil against Spain, Australia and Mexico.

    The Dutch will be without their inspirational midfield enforcer Nigel de Jong, who tore a groin muscle early in the 2-1 second-round defeat of Mexico and could have played his last match at this World Cup.

    The winner goes to Sao Paulo to play either Argentina or Belgium in the semi-finals on July 9.

    Venue: Estádio Nacional de Brasilia, Brasília

    Kick-off: July 05, 1600GMT

    Key stats: The Netherlands have won 10 of their last 11 World Cup matches, the exception being their defeat in the final to Spain four years ago.

    Costa Rica are the first CONCACAF country to reach the quarter-finals since the USA in 2002, and have conceded the joint-fewest goals (two) at the World Cup.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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