Louis van Gaal has confirmed he wanted to bring on goalkeeper Tim Krul for the penalty shootout with Argentina but had used his three substitutes.
The Netherlands were beaten by the South Americans, Argentina scoring all four of their penalties, with Sergio Romero saving from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder.
Costa Rica were dispatched in a shootout in the quarter-final but van Gaal replaced starting goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with Krul for the shootout.
Cillessen has never saved a penalty and didn’t keep out any of Argentina’s, and van Gaal admitted he wanted to make the sub again but had to use his final change to take off Robin van Persie.
He also revealed that two players refused to take the first penalty, leaving Aston Villa captain Vlaar to step up despite not being a regular penalty taker.
“If I had the opportunity to replace a player I would have done but I had already made three changes and I couldn’t do it,” AS reports van Gaal as saying.
“One scores the first penalty and that gives confidence. What if I told two players to take the first penalty and they didn’t?
“I told Vlaar to blast it because it was the best thing to do but it’s not easy to do. I don’t think you should have to point to someone to take penalties.”
Van Gaal lamented his team’s performance, rating the tournament highly as a whole but expressing disappointment over the showing in the semi-final.
“In general I don’t care what people say about me or my team. It’s good if it’s positive but the question is about scoring more than the opponent,” he went on.
“We didn’t create much [against Argentina] like we have in other games. That says something about Argentina and their organisation. They didn’t let us create opportunities.
“They were balanced. Despite that they didn’t create chances. It was a tactical game.”
Van Gaal also dismissed the suggestion that he was responsible for Romero’s strength against penalties after it was claimed he showed the goalkeeper how to do it when they worked together at AZ Alkmaar.
“I didn’t teach Romero to save penalties,” he said. “My team brought him to Europe but I didn’t teach him anything. It’s a joke.”