Genius? Madness? Or perhaps evidence of weeks of planning and meticulous attention to detail?
In a World Cup described by many as the best ever, the drama reached new heights in Salvador on Saturday - and all from 12 yards.
The Netherlands' World Cup quarter-final against Costa Rica was goalless and seconds from a penalty shootout.
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal took the unusual step of substituting his goalkeeper, Ajax's Jasper Cillessen, and sending on Newcastle's Tim Krul. It could scarcely have worked out better.
Here is the story of the shootout told through the eyes of Match of the Day's punditry team.
120 minutes and the change is made
Gary Lineker: "To swap a goalkeeper is something I cannot ever recall seeing before. It is slightly insulting, possibly, for Jasper Cillessen but Louis van Gaal is a very single-minded, confident individual - it is a brave call and he will live or die by it."
Alan Shearer: "It's a massive call. Tim Krul has faced 20 penalties for Newcastle and saved two. So he has obviously been doing something in training that we haven't seen because that is not a great record. This is what you get paid for as a manager - you make big, big calls and this is a massive call. It either works for him, or it goes against him."
Rio Ferdinand: "In a penalty shootout, keepers can't lose normally because the pressure is on the strikers. Now Tim Krul is going in there and he is under pressure."
Gary Lineker: "Tim Krul is out there already, marching towards goal for almost the first time in this game. He has not touched the ball yet. It is a staggering substitution and we are about to see if it will pay off."
Penalty one - Krul v Celso Borges
Robin van Persie scores for Netherlands - this makes it 1-1.
Penalty two - Krul v Bryan Ruiz
Arjen Robben scores for Netherlands - they lead 2-1.
Penalty three - Krul v Giancarlo Gonzalez
Wesley Sneijder scores for Netherlands - they lead 3-2.
Penalty four - Krul v Christian Bolanos
Dirk Kuyt scores for Netherlands - they lead 4-3.
Penalty five - Krul v Michael Umana
- Spoke to every Costa Rican about to take a penalty.
- Patrolled around his penalty box in an attempt to psyche out the taker.
- Dived the right way for every penalty.
- Saved two. Netherlands into the semi-final.
Rio Ferdinand: "Krul was telling them, 'I know where you're going to put your penalty - I've looked and I know where you are going to go'. I like it, I'd like my keeper to be doing that. It puts them off, and adds a bit of edge to it."
Alan Shearer: "Tim Krul was playing mind games, walking up to the Costa Rica players, taking his time to get onto his line. I don't mind that at all - you do what you can to get through. It's gamesmanship but the Costa Rica players have to try and handle it."
Gary Lineker: "What a performance, and what a piece of management by Louis van Gaal. We said he would live or die by that decision, well he lives and he lives into the semi-finals."
Rio Ferdinand: "Manchester United fans will be buzzing to see Louis van Gaal making big decisions like that and them coming off. They will be thinking, 'what a manager we have got coming in'. I would have thought Jasper Cillessen knew before the game that he would be taken off for a penalty shootout. His reaction to Tim Krul's saves shows you the spirit in that squad - it was all about the team going through and he knows he will start the next game."
Alan Hansen: "Penalty shootouts are always exciting, but there were so many added ingredients to this one. We have never seen the like of it before."
Alan Shearer: "Big managers have to make big calls in big games, and that was a huge call by Van Gaal. He has got all the big decisions right at this World Cup."