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PSV held to a goalless draw by Excelsior (PSV.nl)

11 mrt 2007 - Source: PSV.nl

This newsitem has been supplied by PSV.nl

PSV have failed to take full advantage from AZ’s draw earlier on Sunday afternoon, after they were held to a 0-0 draw against Excelsior in Rotterdam. Moreover, they lost Alex who was carried off the pitch on a stretcher after he had sustained a nasty hamstring injury.
PSV coach Ronald Koeman, who had been informed that AZ had already dropped two points earlier on Sunday afternoon, following a 1-1 draw with Feyenoord, was forced to make some changes to the team that booked a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter finals last Wednesday. Arouna Koné, Jan Kromkamp and goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes were sidelined with injuries, with Oscar Moens, Alcides and Ibrahim Afellay deputizing for them. PSV last met Excelsior at Woudestein four-and-a-half years ago at the curtain raiser of the 2002-2003 season, when PSV took all three points in a 2-0 win. PSV played at a low tempo during the first half. It was one-sided affair, as PSV enjoyed most possession of the ball (62%), but could not create any chances. Alcides tried his luck with a long-distance effort after twenty minutes, but sent his shot wide of the goal. On the stroke of half time Xiang Sun’s fine left wing cross found its way to Farfán, who hit a shot on the turn that went inches wide of the post. Soon afterwards Alex sustained a hamstring injury after he had delivered what seemed an ordinary pass. He was taken off the pitch on a stretcher, while referee Haverkort had already blown the first-half whistle.
Koeman made a double substitution at half time. He brought on Manuel da Costa and Diego Tardelli in a bid to secure all three points. However, PSV were slow out of the blocks and it was the hosts that started to put Koeman’s team under pressure, at times embarrassing them. It was not until the 70th minute that the crowd saw the Eindhoven outfit produce any significant action. Jefferson Farfán unleashed a feeble shot from close range that scarcely troubled Excelsior keeper Graafland, though. Tardelli had already left the pitch, after he had also picked up an injury. PSV tried to snatch all three points in the closing stages and substitute Mika Väyrynen came close to scoring the winning goal, but in the end PSV had to settle for a goalless draw against relegation-threatened Excelsior. PSV have maintained their eight-point lead over AZ, but saw their lead over Ajax, who enjoyed an emphatic 4-1 win away against FC Twente, cut to also eight points at the top of the table.