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Monday, February 14, 2005 

AZ 0 - 0 PSV

PSV have maintained a two-point lead over AZ at the top of the Dutch league. The Eindhoven team withstood the AZ attack and was content with a 0-0 draw. AZ and PSV fought out a battle at a frantic pace in which neither team managed to break the deadlock. PSV have now collected 52 points from their 21 league games; AZ are still runners-up with 50 points.

It was a passionate and tempestuous affair in the Alkmaarder Hout, which reminded the crowd of a characteristically English game of football. From the very first moment both teams had their moments and the players were battling for every single loose ball. Much was at stake tonight in an entertaining, thrilling game of football. AZ piled up the pressure after the break, but PSV held out. The Eindhoven side threatened a few times and the final 0-0 score was after all a fair reflection of what had been going on.
Four minutes were on the clock when Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink smashed his first powerful effort on target. The tension was tremendous and no space was given away to any forward of either side.

PSV captain Mark van Bommel became the first player to be yellow carded, after he had committed a foul on his former team mate Adil Ramzi. Van Bommel will now serve a one-match ban and is consequently not available for the tie, at home against N.E.C next week Saturday night. Referee Braamhaar had his book out for Jan Kromkamp on twenty minutes and the AZ right full back will not make an appearance in next week?s fixture, either. Kromkamp and his opponent Jefferson Farfán were at each other for the full forty-five minutes in the first period. Farfán found it hard to contain the new international player in the initial stages, but the Peruvian winger soon made amends and started many runs down the left flank.

AZ were close to scoring the opening goal, when Tim de Cler unleashed a long-distance shot that went agonizingly wide off the post. André Ooijer headed home a few minutes later, but as he was in an off-side position the goal did not stand. PSV were dangerous a few times on the stroke of half time. Phillip Cocu whipped a shot from the turn that AZ keeper Timmer pushed away for a corner.

AZ poured forward with renewed purpose after the break. Young-Pyo Lee had to clear a ball almost immediately after the restart. The game continued in the same vein: there were challenges all over the pitch and both teams tried to attack. Van Bommel had a good effort saved by Timmer. AZ became the more dominating side and the Alkmaar side started many flowing moves. Tarik Sektioui was brought on and it nearly paid off for the hosts, but PSV keeper Gomes pulled off a super save to deny the AZ substitute. Guus Hiddink also made one change: DaMarcus Beasley came on to replace Farfán for the final fifteen minutes. Tension mounted, as it was quite obvious that the side that managed to score one goal would be the winner and be on top of the league.

AZ coach Co Adriaanse absolutely wanted a win and brought on two new players to reinvigorate his front-line, but when the final whistle went, the two teams had to settle for a goalless draw on a windy and tempestuous night.

Source: PSV.nl

Dutch First Division

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. PSV 21 52
2. AZ 21 50
3. Ajax 21 44
4. Feyenoord 21 38
5. Utrecht 21 35

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