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PSV steered clear of trouble (PSV.nl)

18 mrt 2005 - Source: PSV.nl

This newsitem has been supplied by PSV.nl

PSV have also overcome the second obstacle in a hectic week. The team of coach of Guus Hiddink enjoyed a 0-1 win over FC Groningen in the Groningen Ooster Park. The Holland Casino leaders have maintained an impressive unbeaten run in away games for nearly one year by now. Jefferson Farfán scored a priceless goal on the stroke of half timePSV steered clear of trouble in the north of Holland in their challenge to win the Dutch title. The players had made a long trip by coach, knowing that the hosts would battle for every ball. Moreover the squad realized that another massive game was scheduled on Sunday afternoon in the Amsterdam Arena, so a tough night was expected.PSV did not suffer any damage, though: they produced an accomplished display, collected three points and the players did not sustain injuries. If Mark van Bommel, Wilfred Bouma and Johann Vogel had been shown a yellow card, they would have been suspended for the Ajax game on Sunday. Captain Van Bommel in particular did not take any unnecessary risks, ahead of the Ajax clash. That’s why Phillip Cocu did a lot of running in midfield, chasing up opponents and controlling the game. Alex went into the referee’s book, when he held Groningen forward Erik Nevland, while on his way to being put clear, on fifteen minutes.PSV found it hard to create any openings in a well-organized, effective Groningen defence. The hosts had many players in or near their own box, conceded hardly any space and opportunities were limited. Van Bommel and Vennegoor of Hesselink created slim chances; Nevland was denied a goal with a brilliant stop from Gomes at the other end.Jefferson Farfán with his electric pace was a constant threat for the Groningen defenders. At a very convenient moment, on the stroke of half time, the Peruvian scored the opening goal. Ji-Sung Park delivered a sharp cross; the ball fell to Farfán, who, amidst a lot of players in the box, hit a powerful curling drive beyond the reach of Groningen keeper Bas Roorda; 0-1. PSV were delighted with the half time score. Soon after the restart Farfán dangerously raced into the box, but he powered his shot against the bar. Groningen realized that they had to move players forward and the visitors got more space, but it did not really change the play of game. The hosts could not trouble PSV and the Eindhoven side completely controlled proceedings.Vennegoor of Hesselink was taken off by Hiddink twenty minutes from final time and replaced by DaMarcus Beasley. It was a familiar substitution: Farfán was now played up front and Beasley was deployed on the right flank.FC Groningen admitted PSV were the better side and they lacked the confidence to turn the game upside down. PSV took no risks and finished the game in their trademark efficient, business like way. Yet there was en exciting finale, when Groningen played all or nothing in extra time. PSV held on and kept their seventeenth blank sheet of the current campaign. During the long trip home to Eindhoven the players had ample opportunity to look ahead to Friday’s Champions League quarter final draw and the league clash against Ajax on Sunday afternoon.