PSV through to the Europa League group stages

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PSV through to the Europa League group stages

PSV comfortably sealed their Europa League group stage place with a resounding 4-0 victory against Apollon Limasol at the GPS Stadium in Nicosia on Thursday evening. After PSV recorded an emphatic 3-0 win over the Cypriot side in the first leg, they are through with a 7-0 win on aggregate. Mohamed Ihattaren, Kostas Mitroglou and Donyell Malen (2) scored four second-half goals in quick succession.

Stalemate after 45 minutes
With several first-team regulars missing the game though injury, Jorrit Hendrix returned to the starting line-up when PSV looked to defend a 3-0 lead from the first leg in Eindhoven. The hosts saw most of the ball early on, but goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet was hardy called into action in the first period. The first chance of the game fell to Denzel Dumfries who headed Mohamed Ihattaren’s inswinging free kick just wide of the post. The Apollon Limasol supporters were furious that Scottish referee William Collum waved away Papoulis’ penalty shout. At the other end, Cody Gakpo controlled the ball well on the edge of the penalty area but skewed his shot wide of goal on the stroke of half time, leading to a stalemate after 45 minutes.

Four second-half goals in quick succession
The second half opened promisingly when Gakpé had the first shot on target, but Zoet comfortably gathered his effort, while Ihattaren was thwarted by Apollon keeper Joel Mall who pushed his shot away. The home side looked to attack, while PSV patiently waited for an opportunity to hit them on the counter. PSV came close to opening the scoring on two occasions but Boscagli and Ihattaren but could not find the back of the net. Mohamed Ihattaren broke the deadlock on 73 minutes, scoring his third goal for PSV in as many matches. Cody Gakpo singled out Malen who played in the 17-year-old who slotted the ball into the empty net: 0-1. Amar Catic came on for Gakpo to make his PSV debut, while Jorrit Hendrix made way for Kostas Mitroglou. The Greek striker doubled PSV’s lead in the 76th minute with his first touch, just 148 seconds after coming on, tapping home from close range: 0-2. Debutant Catic turned provider for Malen two minutes later: 0-3. Daniel Schwaab replaced fellow countryman Timo Baumgartl in the 83rd minute.  Malen added a superb goal in injury time to make it four. The draw for the Europa League group stage games takes place tomorrow, Friday 30 August at 13.00 CET. PSV will be back in league action on Sunday when they face RKC in Waalwijk at 20.00.