Van Gaal takes advantage of cooling break
Fortaleza, Brazil: Dutch coach Louis van Gaal said here Sunday that his team changed tactics in the second half to win the crucial game against Mexico.
The Netherlands, three-time runners-up, roared into the World Cup quarter-finals, coming from behind in late minutes to win 2-1, reports Xinhua.
The Dutch victory marked the first time in World Cup knockout round history that a team trailing in the 88th minute won in regulation.
After a lacklustre first half, Dos Santos scored for the first time in two years to give Mexico a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute.
Van Gaal said he made his switch during the cooling break, huddling with his players as they drank from bottles on the sideline.
"I moved to `Plan B` at the cooling break," said Van Gaal.
"That is a good way to take advantage of those breaks."
As he did earlier against Australia, Van Gaal switched his team around in the second half, changing from the more defensive 5-3-2 system to the traditional Dutch attacking 4-3-3 formation.
"Yes, we escaped," Van Gaal said.
"But we showed that we could create more chances with 4-3-3, and the players handled this shift very well."
The Netherlands pushed for an equaliser and broke Mexican hearts in the final moments after Wesley Sneijder`s super strike and Klaas van Huntelaar`s calmly finished penalty.
Huntelaar, who came on as a 76th-minute substitute for Robin van Persie, said: "You don`t know when your chance will come, but it was today, and so you grab it with both hands."
"Klaas is a great penalty taker," Robben said. "I asked him if he wanted to take it and he was very sure of himself."