Dream night ends in heartbreak

05 mei 2005 09:00
© Pics United / Lucius and Seedorf. © Pics United / Lucius and Seedorf.
Although PSV put up an unparalleled, outstanding display and outclassed AC Milan completely, the 3-1 win that the side of Guus Hiddink enjoyed was not enough to claim a place in the UEFA Champions League final.

Praise
PSV had a dream night in the Eindhoven Philips Stadium. They had a perfect start in the early stages of the first period, when they took the lead on nine minutes thanks to a Ji-Sung Park goal. The team coached by Guus Hiddink played better, dominated the game and kept controlling the game. After the break Phillip Cocu made it 2-0 and it looked like both teams were heading for extra time. But then, out of the blue, AC Milan captain Ambrosini managed to head home a vital away goal. Cocu again got his name on the score sheet when he found the net almost immediately, but 3-1 was not sufficient to reach the final. PSV, who were undoubtedly the better team over the two legs and completely outclassed Milan tonight, were knocked out and the evening ended in heartbreak.

Ji-Sung Park
PSV got their first opportunity on five minutes. Jefferson Farfán found Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, who attempted a bicycle kick that only struck Maldini on the head, leaving the AC Milan captain groggy. A few minutes later PSV opened the scoring. Ji-Sung Park sent a pass to Vennegoor of Hesselink in the box. The ball broke loose, but Park, who had followed up, fired a hard shot that beat Milan goalkeeper Dida. It was the first goal Dida conceded in 640 minutes of Champions League action and the Philips Stadium broke wild.



© Pics United - The two goals Phillip Cocu scored were not enough to ensure a place in the final after all. © Pics United - The two goals Phillip Cocu scored were not enough to ensure a place in the final after all.
Domination
On some thirty minutes the crowd were on their feet once again, but this time Vennegoor of Hesselink headed a Mark van Bommel free kick on the bar. PSV needed one more goal to get even with Milan, who won the first leg in Italy by 2-0. During the break Paolo Maldini was taken off because of his head injury and Kakhaber Kaladze came on to replace him. PSV continued to do what they were doing in the first half: dominate the game and try to score a goal. Van Bommel, Park, Wilfred Bouma and Alex all produced efforts on target.

Phillip Cocu
And PSV were duly rewarded for their excellent performance on 65 minutes. Young-Pyo Lee delivered a brilliant left footed cross and Cocu powered home a downward header; 2-2 and justice was done. AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti took off Clarence Seedorf, who had not been impressive at all, and Jon Dahl Tomasson replaced him. Guus Hiddink brought on forward Robert for Bouma. Cocu was now played as a centre back. Fifteen minutes from final time Robert fired a shot that Dida could just tip away.
And then, out of the blue, Ambrosini scored the goal AC Milan did not deserve. Cocu briefly revived PSV's hopes, but it was not to be. The best team of Europe were dramatically and cruelly eliminated from the Champions League tournament.




© PSV NV

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