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Ten-man PSV enjoy 0-1 win over Sparta (

15 jan 2006 - Source:

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PSV have enjoyed a 0-1 win over Sparta in their first domestic league game of the new year. PSV were down to ten men the entire second period, but they managed to score the only goal of the game after all. Sparta fans and PSV supporters alike carried on a campaign against the play-off system and the introduction of passport photo registrations. Thousands of small whistles caused an infernal racket and there was a host of banners in the stadium. Referee Wegereef, who had been fully informed on the campaign, did not appreciate it and on two minutes he asked the stadium speaker to announce that he would abandon the game. His request fell on deaf ears, but the game could be played without any interruptions anyway.The Rotterdam hosts were equal to the Eredivisie leaders in the first forty-five minutes and Van den Bergh, who had already found the net for Sparta five times this season, fired wide of the goal. Vennegoor of Hesselink and Cocu created opportunities, but they both had their efforts go wide. Although it was a pretty fair game, referee Wegereef lavishly brandished yellow cards. Four PSV players went into his book and just as many Sparta players were also cautioned. On twenty minutes Lamey was the first to be booked for the very first offence committed by a PSV player. When Sparta defender Gudde needed treatment near the touchline, PSV earned their best opportunity. Culina started a move and Farfán picked out Cocu, but Sparta keeper Ponk did well to deny the PSV captain. Gudde had sustained an injury and Zoontjes left the bench to replace him. PSV dominated proceedings in the closing stages of the first half. Vennegoor of Hesselink headed just over the bar from a clever Culina cross and the striker should have done better, after Farfán had found him with a superb pass. On the stroke of half time Farfán curled a free kick into the side netting. Seconds before the final whistle for the first period went, Lamey held Oost and referee Wegereef thought a second yellow card was a justified decision and thus the PSV defender was given his marching orders. Beasley was taken off at half time for Ball, another full left back. As might have been expected, PSV were forced back frequently, but the Eindhoven defence held on against the agile Sparta forwards. The hosts created their best chance on 64 minutes. Gomes pulled off a great save from a Rose header. Fifteen minutes from final time PSV suddenly broke the deadlock by taking one of their rare chances. Vennegoor headed on a long ball and Sparta defender Gudelj missed it. Farfán was sharp-eyed and rounded goalie Ponk before prodding. The ball crossed the line after it had touched the inside of the post and was touched bij Gudelj. Sparta had a glorious opportunity to level terms from the first counter attack, but, as has happened so many times this season, Brazilian stopper Gomes kept a cool head and Van den Bergh failed to capitalize on a one-to-one situation. Sparta defender Schenkel was also dismissed for a second bookable offence, following a foul on Farfán in the final minute of official time. So, although PSV were reduced to ten men, they collected a narrow win and have maintained their top position in the Dutch table.