Sports

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal's tactics finally backfire in World Cup semifinals

  • Netherlands' head coach Louis van Gaal consoles Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum after a shootout at the end of the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina won 4-2 on penalties after the match ended 0-0 after extra time.  (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

    Netherlands' head coach Louis van Gaal consoles Netherlands' Georginio Wijnaldum after a shootout at the end of the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina won 4-2 on penalties after the match ended 0-0 after extra time. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)  (The Associated Press)

  • Netherlands' head coach Louis van Gaal greets Ron Vlaar after losing a shootout at the end of the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina won 4-2 on penalties after the match ended 0-0 after extra time.  (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

    Netherlands' head coach Louis van Gaal greets Ron Vlaar after losing a shootout at the end of the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina won 4-2 on penalties after the match ended 0-0 after extra time. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)  (The Associated Press)

Louis van Gaal's luck finally ran out at the World Cup.

The Netherlands coach appeared to have a golden tactical touch in Brazil. He switched systems during matches to force victories, brought on substitutes who scored within minutes and — most amazingly of all — swapped goalkeepers for a penalty shootout victory.

But in the semifinals against Argentina on Wednesday, he ran out of substitutes before he could pull that trick again and his team was eliminated in a shootout after Jasper Cillessen failed to stop any of Argentina's four penalties following a 0-0 draw.

Van Gaal now has only Saturday's third-place match before he heads to Old Trafford to take over as manager of Manchester United.