Saturday, April 30, 2005 

Nyíregyháza 1-1 Honvéd

NYÍREGYHÁZA: Németh; Tímár (Laskai, 46'), Szatke, Ambrusz, Sipos; Celso (Kenesei , 24'), Schrancz, Vasas, Némedi; Lengyel (Márton, 56'), Nikolic.

HONVÉD: Takács; Kovács, Mészáros, Baranyai, Takács; Dobos, (Zana, 82'),Vadócz, Genito (Lázár, 72'), Dancs; Kozarek, Szili,

GOALS: 0-1, Vadócz (30'); 1-1, Márton (93')


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Debrecen 24 52
2. Ferencváros 25 46
3. Györ 25 45
4. Újpest 24 42
5. MTK 24 42
9. Honvéd 25 41

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 

PSV claim Eredivisie crown

UEFA Champions League semi-finalists PSV Eindhoven prepared perfectly for Tuesday's first leg against AC Milan by clinching their fourth Eredivisie title in six years after defeating SBV Vitesse 3-0 at the Philips stadium.

As soon as the final whistle had gone, everybody in the Eindhoven Philips Stadium let their hair down. Gallons of shower confetti were showered into the air; the crowd went wild with joy and captain Mark van Bommel proudly showed the championship shield to the ecstatic fans.
While Guus Meeuwis, a popular Dutch artist, was singing party songs, the PSV players put on brand-new championship caps and everybody went crazy: PSV had claimed their eighteenth Dutch title!

Nobody left the stadium and all fans were celebrating, while all players of the squad were dancing and leaping about. When the championship shield had been officially presented to Mark van Bommel, the PSV captain went straight to 100-year good-old Mr Frits Philips to present him the trophy and put a PSV scarf round his neck. The squad took their time to do a lap of honour and the celebrations in the Philips Stadium seemed to intensify by the minute.

Bottles of Champaign were opened in the dressing room and cigars were lit, registered by dozens of photographers and TV cameras. Later on the night Guus Hiddink analyzed the season at the post-match press conference and he was obviously delighted with having won the Dutch title. “I am so delighted and I feel satisfied. It is really wonderful to win the title, for the squad as well as for me. I am amazed at the speed with which this squad has developed”, felt Hiddink, who can now boast of an impressive record: he is the only Dutch coach that has won as many as five Dutch titles.

Hiddink had a fitting answer to the question what the secret of the success formula is. “The experienced players flourished with the arrival of a few hungry talented youngsters from other continents and the signing of an old hand”, the PSV head coach explained.

"This team is the ideal mix of talented youngsters and experienced winners. The current campaign is not over yet, but first we are going to throw a great party."



Estoril 1 - 2 Benfica

SL Benfica took full advantage of a slip from Sporting Clube de Portugal to move three points clear in the SuperLiga, at least until Monday night, after a dramatic 2-1 victory at nine-man GD Estoril-Praia today.

Sousa strike
The home side went ahead on eleven minutes when Paulo Sousa's cross flew straight into the corner of the net, eluding Benfica goalkeeper José Moreira, who had retained his place ahead of Quim. However, 13 minutes later home right-back Rui Duarte was sent off for a second caution, and his team did well to hold out until half-time.

Mantorras winner
But Jorge Baptista's goal was finally breached in the 75th minute when Luisão headed in a Simão Sabrosa free-kick and Estoril were reduced to nine men when substitute João Paulo was dismissed for dissent. Eight minutes from time Benfica struck their winner, Pedro Mantorras turning in Simão's header from a João Pereira corner.



Hamburg SV 3 - 0 Hansa Rostock

HSV produced a fine second half display in front of a capacity crowd of 55,800 in the AOL Arena on Saturday afternoon, to beat struggling Hansa Rostock 3-0 in round 30 of the Bundesliga. Goals by Mpenza (49.), Benjamin (61.), and Takahara (64.), put the home side in the driving seat…

Dull first half...
The first half of this round 30 match was when all is said and done, a pretty dull affair. Second bottom placed Hansa never really managed to threaten the home defence, which welcomed back Khalid Boulahrouz after injury. There were first half chances for Takahara, Mpenza and Moreira, none of which were taken. After half an hour, HSV seemed to lose the plot, which gave Hansa a chance to get into the game. Thomas Rasmussen tried a long distance shot, but the HSV goalie Stefan Wächter was up to the challenge. Moments later, Prica shaved the outside of a post with Wächter scrambling. On the stroke of half time Schober in the Rostock goal produced a stunning save to deny Mpenza an opening goal by way of a strong header.

HSV take the lead
On 49 minutes, Rostock’s former HSV player Maul lost the ball in midfield. Mehdi Mahdavikia made the most of his sudden space and raced down the right wing from where he put in a cross onto the head of Mpenza who scored with a powerful header. The visitors had a rare chance three minutes later, but Allbäck missed as it looked easier to score. On 61 minutes, a free kick was floated into the box by Paule Beinlich, who found Collin Benjamin stealing in on the blind side at the far post, from where he poked the ball home from close range.

Taka bags his 7th of the season!
Only 3 minutes after going 2 goals ahead, the home side wrapped up the points as Mpenza left his marker for dead before unleashing a shot with his weaker left foot. His shot came back off Schober into the path of Takahara who didn’t strike the ball right, but it still lobbed its way into the net, to give the "Sushi-Bomer" his 7th goal of the season. After that Rostock gave up, and they remain 4 points from safety. The victory has put HSV into a good position to challenge for a UEFA Cup place.

Hamburger SV: Wächter - Benjamin (73.Schlicke), van Buyten, Boulahrouz, Klingbeil - Wicky, Beinlich (82.Laas), Mahdavikia, Moreira (71.Jarolim) - Takahara, Mpenza

Hansa Rostock: Schober - Hartmann, Möhrle, Sebastian, Rasmussen -Maul (55.Rydlewicz), Persson, Lantz, Litmanen (65.Di Salvo), Prica - Allbäck (69.Meggle)

Goals: 1:0 Mpenza (49.), 2:0 Benjamin (61.), 3:0 Takahara (63.)


Friday, April 22, 2005 

The Guus that laid the golden egg

Things have rarely looked better for PSV Eindhoven. They are running away with the Eredivisie title, preparing to play in the Dutch Cup finals and looking ahead to an improbable UEFA Champions League semi-final against AC Milan. A repeat of PSV's glorious treble of 1987/88 is still just about on the cards.

Recurring theme
In that season, PSV won the league, the Dutch Cup and the European Champion Clubs' Cup, with a penalty shoot-out triumph against SL Benfica. Current PSV coach Guus Hiddink was the man in charge at the Philips Stadion in that season too, and he has yet to rule out a repeat performance.

Minor miracle
That PSV have progressed this far is a minor miracle considering their precarious position last summer when Hiddink was forced to offload his entire strike-force. "They went to England - Mateja Kezman, Dennis Rommedahl, Arjen Robben," the coach told at PSV's De Herdgang training complex in Eindhoven.

Talent drain
"Goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus also left and Kevin Hofland went to [VfL] Wolfsburg, so I had to find replacements in five positions," added the 58-year-old. "Seeing where we are now in Europe and in the Eredivisie, we have done very well. The new players deserve a lot of credit for adapting."

Mental strength
For Hiddink, who led the Korean Republic to the semi-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the key to finding those replacement players was finding youngsters with the right mind-set. "When you scout players you can see their skills - but on the pitch you can also tell a lot about their mental strength," he explained.

Foreign prodigies
This scouting formula saw Hiddink sign the likes of DaMarcus Beasley, Johan Vonlanthen, Jefferson Farfán - from the United States, Switzerland and Peru respectively - and Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who have all played their part in PSV's rise from obscurity.

What's inside
Add in inspirational Korean duo Ji-Sung Park and Young-Pyo Lee and it is clear that finding classy players abroad is something of a Hiddink speciality. He explained: "When you see these players in their home countries, you have to find out what their ambitions are. You have to work out what they have inside them."

Old head
Amid all the talented youngsters, however, one old head has shone for PSV - midfield player Phillip Cocu who joined the club from FC Barcelona in the summer. Hiddink is delighted with the way the Dutch international has been playing and has appointed Cocu as one of his lieutenants on the pitch.

Tactical enforcer
"Phillip Cocu is doing an excellent job this season," explained Hiddink. "Coaches think they are important during a match, but we are not. We can only ever make three changes. So it is important to have one or two players on the pitch, with whom I can share my tactical thoughts, so they can implement them on the pitch."

Financial gap
None the less, even with his sub-alterns in place, PSV will start their tie against Milan as rank outsiders. "If you look at the finances of the two teams, I think they can spend ten or 20 times more than we can on players," said Hiddink. "But nevertheless, sometimes a small team can shock a big one."

'No fear'
"It is already quite an achievement for PSV to have been in the Champions League for the past eight or nine years," added Hiddink. "But this team has done a tremendous job so far. We have no fear, because everyone expects Milan to win, so let's see if we can spring a surprise."


Thursday, April 21, 2005 

Feyenoord 1 - 1 PSV (Dutch Cup)

PSV have reached the Amstel Cup final following a successful penalty shoot out against Feyenoord. The Eindhoven team will now meet either Ajax or Willem II on 29 May. For the second time in succession PSV went through after a penalty shoot out. When the final whistle went the score was still 1-1. Neither team managed to score a goal in extra time, so penalties had to be taken to get a result. Theo Lucius converted the decisive spot kick.

Just like last week against Olympique Lyon, PSV kept a cool head in extra time and during the penalty shoot out. PSV fielded an improvised team in extra time, after which Van Bommel, Park, Robert and Lucius converted their penalty. Feyenoord players Goor and De Graaf failed to score and PSV forward Farfán had his spot kick saved.
Salomon Kalou scored an early opening goal on four minutes but DaMarcus Beasley restored parity at the death.
Guus Hiddink was not in the Rotterdam Kuip; the PSV head coach had traveled to Milan to watch the AC Milan-Chievo league encounter in San Siro. His assistant coaches Fred Rutten and René Eijkelkamp took overin Rotterdam and brought about four changes to the regular starting line-up.

Phillip Cocu, André Ooijer, Johann Vogel and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink were all ruled out due to (slight) injuries. DaMarcus Beasley, Kasper Bøgelund, Theo Lucius and Gerald Sibon took their places and Ji-Sung Park was also given a place in the starting XI.

As soon as the cup tie was kicked off PSV created their first chance. Gerald Sibon controlled the ball well and put Jefferson Farfán clear. The Peruvian forward unleashed a shot that went just across the goal. Feyenoord responded in the most efficient way: Salomon Kalou, who was left unmarked, headed home the opening goal. Ands thus PSV were trailing 1-0, which is a rare phenomenon in the current season. The crowd in De Kuip fanatically supported the hosts, hoping to salvage some pride in a disappointing season by reaching the Amstel Cup final.

After Feyenoord had taken the lead, PSV patiently tried to find an opening and the hosts started a few lethal counter attacks. Theo Lucius and Feyenoord midfielder Nick Hofs were shown yellow cards. Kalou rattledf the bar on the stroke of half time and PSV keeper Gomes could thank his lucky star.

After the break the game continued in the same vein, but gradually PSV became the better team. Robert was brought on twenty minutes from final for Sibon and the effect was clearly noticeable. The Brazilian scored two goals that were both disallowed. The second goal did not stand as he was controversially judged to have been off-side. With ten minutes official time left, Gomes kept PSV in the game after he had thwarted Hofs with a fine save. PSV moved men forward in an attempt to score the equalizer and they were successful. They started another move two minutes from final time. Roberts fired on target, the ball was not properly cleared and fell to the American international DaMarcus Beasley who prodded home from close range, which was obviously a devastating blow to Feyenoord.

Alex left the pitch in extra time amd Ibrahim Afellay came on to replace him. Mark van Bommel was now played in the heart of defence and Afellay took over his position in midfield. Wilfred Bouma was replaced by Eric Addo in the second period of extra time. Robert hit the bar and PSV kept on trying to score the winning goal.

Just like last week PSV were the better team at the penalty shoot out, which means they are still in the race of winning silverware in all fronts.



Estrela Amadora 0 - 3 Benfica (Portuguese Cup)

Holders SL Benfica moved through to the Portuguese Cup final, where they will play Vitória FC, after a 3-0 win away against second division CF Estrela da Amadora.

Benfica boom
The Lisbon side broke through in the 36th minute, with a fine header from Nuno Gomes after a cross from Geovanni. Benfica got their second goal in the 65th minute with another header, this time from Nuno Assis.

Nuno Gomes glee
In the 73rd minute Nuno Gomes scored his second and assured Benfica's progress to the final for the second year in a row, while Brazilian central defender André Luis made his first appearance in the Lisbon club's first team. The final will be played on the 29 May at the Estádio Nacional.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005 

Schalke 04 1 - 2 Hamburg SV

An 87th minute goal by the former Schalke star Emile Mpenza, gave HSV a deserved victory in front of a capacity crowd in the Schalke Arena in round 29 of the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon. Schalke got their noses in front as Asamoah scored after only 3 minutes. Raphael Wicky equalised for coach Thomas Doll’s side on 61 minutes, and 3 minutes from the end Mpenza of all people scored to dash any title hopes harboured by the Gelsenkirchen club.

HSV caught napping…
The game was only 3 minutes old as the home side caught HSV napping. Good combination play by Asamoah and Sand, saw the dangerous duo go through the visiting midfield and defence like a hot knife through butter. The Danish striker shook off a half hearted challenge by Wicky, before setting up Asamoah, who poked the ball past Wächter in ther HSV goal from 12 metres out to give the title-hopefuls the lead.

Schalke sit back and wait
The lead did not signal an all out assault on Wächter’s goal, instead Schalke sat back on their slender lead. Tentative attempts at attacking football by the visiting side were easily dealt with by Schalke, who were without the services of both Bordon and Lincoln. HSV tried to press forward but without any real effect. Mostly HSV’s attacks were nipped in the bud as they reached the opposing penalty area.

Dull spell
The game became a dull affair with only half chances by the former Schalke striker Mpenza and the Swiss-born Wicky interrupting the yawning of the capacity crowd. Noting much happened before half time and Schalke deserved their slender one goal lead at the break.

HSV vastly improve
Ralf Rangnick brought on Hanke for Altintop at the start of the second half, but it was the visiting side which made the better start. They began to string passes together in midfield and began to get on top of the home side. A deflected van Buyten free kick was easily dealt with by the Schalke keeper Rost on 52 minutes, and Beinlich’s corner onto the head of the HSV skipper was collectively dealt with by the Schalke defence.

Wicky heads HSV level
Another dead ball situation was to pull HSV back into the match, as on 61 minutes, a superb cross by Beinlich to Wicky allowed the Swiss-born defender to spring the Schalke offside trap, before heading in unmarked from only 4 metres out. Schalke woke up after HSV’s equaliser, but a superb performance by the HSV keeper Wächter thwarted then time and time again. Beinlich shaved a post with a well struck free kick on 73 minutes, but better times were just around the corner for coach Thomas Doll and Co.

World class Wächter
Ten minutes from time, Ebbe Sand fired in a ferocious shot only to see Wächter produce a stunning diving save to deny the Dane. On 87 minutes, most of the huge crowd in Gelsenkirchen thought the game would end in a draw, but Emile Mpenza (who was booed by the Schalke crowd fall game) had other ideas! A back heel by Moreira into the Schalke penalty area was toe poked past Rost by Mpenza to give HSV a thoroughly deserved win which has them sitting pretty in 6th place in the Bundesliga table. In injury time it was again Wächter who saved HSV as he superbly stopped a free kick by Oude Kamphuis.

Schalke: F. Rost - Oude Kamphuis, Waldoch, Krstajic, Rodriguez - Poulsen - Hamit Altintop, Kobiashvili - Sand - Asamoah, Ailton

HSV: Wächter - Benjamin, B. Reinhardt, van Buyten, Klingbeil - Wicky - Mahdavikia, Beinlich - Moreira - Takahara, Mpenza

Goals: 1:0 Asamoah (3.), 1:1 Wicky (61), 1:2 Mpenza (87.)


Thursday, April 14, 2005 

PSV (4 - 2) win on penalties (CL)

PSV Eindhoven will compete in the semi-finals of the European Champion Clubs' Cup for the first time in 17 years after defeating Olympique Lyonnais on penalties after their quarter-final had finished 1-1 after extra time.

Gomes glory
Although the Dutch league leaders saw their first-leg away goal cancelled out by Sylvain Wiltord's tenth-minute opener, Alex drew them level with a fine volley early in the second half and they went on to triumph 4-2 on penalties, Michael Essien and Eric Abidal seeing their kicks saved by Heurelho Gomes leaving substitute Robert to convert PSV's winning kick.

Adventurous start
Both sides announced their attacking intentions early on, PSV almost fashioning an opening for Ji-Sung Park and Lyon's Essien beating Young-Pyo Lee to a bouncing ball and drilling in a centre which Alex picked off Wiltord's toe. The forward was not to be denied in the tenth minute, however, as he latched on to Wilfred Bouma's weak headed clearance from Florent Malouda's innocuous cross, held off Alex and fired a shot past Gomes despite the goalkeeper getting a strong hand to it.

Card count
PSV's Brazilian No1 enjoyed better fortune in cutting out a Wiltord cross in the 15th minute and the striker was then alive to another weak Bouma pass, although so was Alex as he dived in to sweep the ball clear. Although the tussle between Wiltord and Alex caught the eye, much of the first-half play did not, as the slick surface and over-eager tackling contributed to three bookings and frequent shrills from Kim Milton Nielsen's whistle.

Industrious Park
Yet the industrious Park was ever keen to stamp some quality on proceedings, first teasing Abidal and sending in an effort which hit Claudio Caçapa in the face before linking well with countryman Lee and bending a shot over Grégory Coupet's bar. The midfield player also won the free-kick from which PSV equalised in the 50th minute. Abidal headed Mark van Bommel's set-piece towards the penalty spot where Alex had time to calmly cushion the ball on his ample chest and fire a low volley into the Lyon net.

Coupet relieved
Lyon's own Brazilian central defender, Cris, twice went close to emulating his countryman around the 70th minute. After Gomes had half-punched a corner into his path, the 27-year-old's instinctive shot brought a goalline clearance, and from the next attack his fine overhead kick whistled just wide. Coupet was then relieved to see his palmed clearance from Jefferson Farfán's dangerous cross ricochet behind off substitute DaMarcus Beasley.

Alert defending
The United States forward offered a different threat to the man he replaced, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, and Beasley's mobility almost saw him score the winning goal only for his 85th-minute effort to flash wide. Malouda had an equally telling chance in the closing moments, but alert defending from Alex nullified the threat and forced extra time.

Nilmar on
While Beasley added spice to the PSV attack, Nilmar did likewise to Lyon's forward line after he replaced Wiltord in the 95th minute. The Brazilian youngster soon showed his pace, forcing Gomes off his line before creating an opening for Juninho Pernambucano who fired wide. The second period of extra time was all PSV as Phillip Cocu, Park and Van Bommel all went close, industry which was rewarded when they became the first team to win a two-legged Champions League tie on penalties.

Lucky omen
It is the fourth time Lyon have been knocked out of a UEFA competition at the quarter-final stage following exits from the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1968, the UEFA Cup in 1999 and last season's Champions League, where they were eliminated by eventual winners FC Porto. Hiddink will hope that is a lucky omen as, 17 years after he masterminded PSV's European Champion Clubs' Cup final defeat of SL Benfica, he strives to make his side the cream of the continent once again.


Friday, April 08, 2005 

River Plate 2-1 Junior (Copa Libertadores)

River Plate remains unbeaten in Group 5 of the Copa Libertadores, and ensured the qualification for the next stage of the competition, after a 2-1 win over Junior Barranquilla, with goals by Farías and Gallardo

RIVER PLATE: Franco Costanzo; Carlos Diogo, Horacio Ameli, Eduardo Tuzzio, Federico Domínguez; Luis González (Jairo Patiño, 66'), Javier Mascherano, Víctor Zapata; Marcelo Gallardo (Rubens Sambueza, 90'); Gastón Fernández (Marcelo Salas, 72'), Ernesto Farías.

JÚNIOR: Carlos Pérez; Marcelo Méndez, Roberto Peñaloza, Francisco Alvear, Zapata (Juan Quinteros, 66'); Rivas, Juan Leal (Macnelly Torres, 79'), Cristian Racero, Lin Henry (Cassiani, 72'); Omar Pérez, Martín Arzuaga.

GOALS: 1-0, Farías (42'); 1-1, Arzuaga (46'); 2-1, Gallardo (58', pen)


Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. River Plate 4 12
2. Junior 4 6
3. Nacional 4 3
4. Olmedo 4 3

Wednesday, April 06, 2005 

Olympic Lyonnais 1 - 1 PSV Eindhoven (CL)

Battle-hardened defenders have been suffering nervous palpitations at the prospect of facing Olympic Lyonnais in the UEFA Champions League this season. With an average of over three goals a game, including the astonishing ten-goal salvo against German champions Werder Bremen in the last round, Paul Le Guen's side have given a clear signal that the French outfit mean serious business.

Misfiring attack
Until Tuesday's quarter-final first leg against PSV Eindhoven at the Stade Gerland, Lyon had rattled in 27 goals in eight games - the highest tally in this season's competition. However, this time around the machine misfired. They managed just a single goal - Florent Malouda's 12th-minute strike - and were stunned by Phillip Cocu's precious late equaliser which gives PSV a narrow advantage ahead of a tantalising return leg.

Champagne performance
PSV have consistently upped their game for European evenings. Seasoned coach Guus Hiddink - who has already tasted champagne from the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1988 - has built a fiercely determined unit that works industriously on and off the ball. Home and away wins to eliminate 2004 finalists AS Monaco FC in the first knockout round provided proof of their pedigree. Here, in a red-hot atmosphere, PSV battled furiously and occasionally rode their luck to keep Lyon at arm's length and earn a splendid draw.

Team spirit
The priority for Hiddink's outfit at the outset was to deploy that unflagging team spirit to quell Lyon's attacking potential. However, after a relatively promising start, the visitors suddenly found themselves in arrears - flimsy covering in the penalty area allowing Malouda to fire in goal No28 - and needing to focus on limiting the damage.

Essien endeavour
Buffeted for a period after the goal, PSV nevertheless succeeded in reaching half-time with their heads still above water. Even if they created very little of note themselves, they got sufficient bodies behind the ball to stall much of Lyon's momentum, although the powerful and impressive midfield player Michael Essien would have been frustrated to plant a close-range header straight at goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, before shaving the woodwork with another effort. Had either attempt found the net, Hiddink's charges would have immediately had to convert damage limitation into urgent crisis management.

Robust rearguard
Lyon, prompted by skilful Brazilian Juninho Pernambucano, sought the cushion of a second goal on the restart, but the second half opened with a promising spell of PSV possession - it was as if Hiddink had told his men that the best way to cope would be to keep the hosts as far away as possible from danger areas at the other end. When Lyon did threaten, Alex's robust resistance at the heart of the PSV rearguard was keeping them at bay as the hour-mark passed.

Promising counterattacks
A sense of edginess began creeping into Lyon's play - justifiably so, because the defiant Dutch side were proving an extremely tough nut to crack. A second goal was not forthcoming, with a fantastic point-blank save by Gomes from Sidney Govou heightening French tension. PSV were clinging on manfully, and managed to mount several promising counterattacks of their own thanks to the lively Jefferson Farfán on the right flank.

Cocu crescendo
Finally, PSV were rewarded for a gritty second-half effort. A close-passing movement 20 metres out ended with Phillip Cocu's low drive finding the corner of the net. The noisy Dutch contingent found full voice, while Lyon failed to rouse themselves for the finale and the verdict remains in the balance for when the sides reconvene at the Philips stadium in Eindhoven next Wednesday.

Goals: 12' Malouda (1-0); 79´Cocu (1-1)


Monday, April 04, 2005 

Benfica 4 - 3 Maritimo

A late goal from substitute Pedro Mantorras gave leaders SL Benfica a crucial 4-3 victory against CS Marítimo to stay six points clear of their nearest rivals in the SuperLiga standings.

Gomes double
Nuno Gomes’s sixth-minute goal for Benfica was immediately cancelled out by Pena, before Miguel and a second from Gomes regained Benfica's lead. Dutch defender Mitchell van der Gaag pulled the visitors back into the game just before half-time and Pena’s second brought the two teams level on 49 minutes. However, Mantorras’s decisive strike four minutes from time gave Giovanni Trapattoni’s side victory.



Freiburg 1 - 1 Hamburg SV

Visiting coach Thomas Doll was forced to make changes to his starting line-up due to the injuries to his first choice defenders Boulahrouz and Wicky. The Dutchman was replaced by Bastian Reinhardt, while Wicky's place in the HSV first team went to Collin Benjamin. The Freiburg coach Finke was also without two key players: Zlatan Bajramovic was suspended for five yellow cards, and Otar Chisaneischwili was missing due to a serious knee injury.

Moreira came, saw and scored!
Despite the changes, both played attacking football at first, and for the first time this season Emile Mpenza paired with Benny Lauth up front for HSV, with Barbarez behind the front two. The visitors started promisingly enough and there were early chances for Reinhardt (5.), who went close after latching onto a Beinlich cross, and Mpenza, who had a shot well saved by the former HSV goalie Richard Golz.

Freiburg in front
On 18 minutes the home side took the lead, as a fine pass by Kruppke split the HSV back four, and Dennis Aogo stole in on the blind side of Jarolim to score from an acute angle. The lead shocked HSV, and Freiburg almost doubled their lead on 27 minutes, but a superb reflex save by Stefan Wächter denied Samuel Koejoe a goal by way of a looping header. Seconds later Benny Lauth was forced to go off with what looked like a hamstring problem. Doll brought on the Portuguese midfielder Moreira, and it was a move which was to pay dividends, because Moreira converted a fine pass by Benjamin to level the score 4 minutes before half time.

Missed chances
HSV started the second half the better of the two sides. There followed good chances for both Moreira and Mpenza, both of which were well saved by Golz (52.)Shortly afterwards Moreira had another good opportunity but once again found his master in Golz, as the midfielder tried to lob him. Freiburg didn’t have a shot on goal until the harmless effort by Ellery Cairo on 59 minutes; it was to be their final effort of the match…

Red card for Barbarez
Freiburg concentrated on keeping 10 men behind the ball, which made things difficult for HSV. On 78 minutes, Barbarez was fouled from behind by Aogo. The Bosnian striker reacted, and was promptly sent off. He will miss the home game against Werder Bremen in round 28, and the away game at Schalke a week later. Also out of the Werder clash, is Mpenza; who picked up a fifth caution in Freiburg. On the balance of play a draw was about the right result. For Freiburg, a point was not enough and they find themselves 11 points away from safety. HSV could have used a win, but still moved up to 6th place in the Bundesliga table.

Freiburg: Golz - Ibertsberger, Mohamad, Hermel, Diarra - Cairo, Aogo, Coulibaly, Kruppke - Iashvili, Koejoe - Trainer: Finke

HSV: Wächter - Schlicke, B. Reinhardt, van Buyten, Klingbeil - Benjamin - Jarolim, Beinlich - Barbarez - Mpenza, Lauth - Trainer: Doll

Goals: 1:0 Kruppke (18.), 1:1 Moreira (41.)



PSV 2 - 0 FC Utrecht

PSV eased to a straight 2-0 win over FC Utrecht on Saturday night, ahead of the crucial Champions league clash against Lyon. The leaders of the Dutch league earned another three points and they did not have to dig deep to maintain their winning run. The visitors were harmless and did not believe in a shock result at all.

PSV had nothing to fear from Utrecht, who never displayed their familiar characteristics like spirit, passion and stamina. The visitors seemed to have reconciled themselves to having to return home without having grabbed any points. They hoped to be able to produce some counter attacks, but they hardly ever succeeded in doing so. PSV did not have to give their all; they were satisfied with the three points and the fact that the players had come safe through the game.
Guus Hiddink had fielded Theo Lucius in midfield to replace the suspended Swiss international Johann Vogel, but did not change his successful system. His FC Utrecht colleague Foeke Booy had some bad injury news to cope with. Darl Douglas was ruled out with a groin problem and Jean-Paul de Jong, who was troubled by a painful toe, was also out. Stefaan Tanghe was suspended, so Booy needed some time to think out a starting line-up. Michael Mols started on the bench and FC Utrecht top scorer Hans van de Haar was positioned as a lone striker up front.

The game started at a low pace; FC Utrecht defended and PSV tried to find an opening. The hosts put up a wall of defenders, hoped for the odd counter and invited PSV to make it a game. It took PSV 37 minutes to break the deadlock. FC Utrecht Joost Terol keeper saved a Wilfred Bouma free kick, but Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink superbly controlled the rebound before lashing home, bagging his fifteenth goal of the season. A few minutes 'VOH' started the move by which PSV doubled their advantage. He somehow found Ji-Sung Park, when Etienne Shew-Atjon had deflected his pass. The ball fell to the South Korean, who was left completely unmarked and rifled the ball into the roof of net, 2-0.

FC Utrecht were hardly inclined to try and salvage something after the break, either. PSV dominated the game and patiently waited for chances. It was not easy as the visitors had retreated to their own area. Hiddink took off Jefferson Farfán on 60 minutes and DaMarcus Beasley came on to replace him. The Peruvian winger was played at the right wing and Park moved over to the left flank. Utrecht had some time left to at least pull one goal back, but they refused to move men forward and PSV finished the game in a business-like way. Robert was given a chance to get some match rhythm, when he left the bench to take over from Phillip Cocu.

PSV will follow the Feyenoord - AZ tie tomorrow in a confident mood and the squad will take off for Lyon on Monday.

Goals: 37 Vennegoor of Hesselink, 42 Park



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