Cooling break helped us - Van Gaal
Having been 1-0 down in the last-16 clash at Fortaleza on Sunday, the three-time finalists secured a quarter-final spot with a stunning comeback.
Wesley Sneijder levelled with two minutes to go, arrowing a half-volley into the bottom corner, before substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar kept his cool from the penalty spot in the dying moments.
And Van Gaal revealed the brief interlude - observed 30 minutes into each half at venues where the temperature exceeds 32 degrees celsius (90 fahrenheit) - played a part in the turnaround by allowing him to make some tactical alterations.
He said: "I changed my tactics during the cooling break. Yes, it was an advantage."
Many are now tipping the Netherlands for at least a semi-final spot, with either Costa Rica or Greece awaiting in the next phase.
Van Gaal is not resting on his laurels. though, and added: "Greece and Costa Rica are very difficult opponents to beat. Otherwise they would not be so far into the tournament. "
However, it was not all good news for the Dutch with van Gaal suggesting Nigel de Jong, who was withdrawn after nine minutes, may miss the remainder of the tournament.