PSV title hopes hit by defeat at AZ

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PSV title hopes hit by defeat at AZ

PSV’s hopes of retaining the title suffered a huge blow as AZ earned a 1-0 win over Mark van Bommel’s team in the AFAS Stadion on Sunday afternoon. Guus Til handed the hosts the advantage on 49 minutes. Ajax have opened up a three-point gap on PSV after claiming a 4-1 home victory against FC Utrecht.

Goalless at half-time
PSV had coach Mark van Bommel made one change to the team, bringing on Cody Gakpo for the injured Hirving Lozano. With two Eredivisie games to go, Ajax and PSV were level on points at the top of the table, so PSV knew they had to take all three points to keep their title hopes alive. They started strongly and came close on eight minutes. Donyell Malen delivered a cross from the right flank but AZ keeper Marco Bizot pushed Luuk de Jong’s backheel effort away for a corner. PSV were in control but AZ also had their moments and Calvin Stengs forced Jeroen Zoet into a diving save with a powerful drive in the 25th minute. PSV failed to create chances while AZ became more threatening on the counter attack through their wingers. One of them, former PSV player Albert Gudmundsson, rounded Daniel Schwaab but no AZ forward was on hand to convert his cross. HT: 0-0.

Guus Til nets winner for AZ
With Ajax leading 2-1 against FC Utrecht at half-time, PSV had everything to play for after the restart. But it was the home side who deservedly took the lead minutes four minutes into the second half. Pablo Rosario was robbed in midfield and Mats Seuntjes skipped past his marker and played in Guus Til who slotted home the opening goal: 1-0. PSV nearly conceded a second goal, but Calvin Stengs saw his shot crash off the far post. PSV had a good chance to level things. Gakpo found Malen who controlled the cross well before sending his header past the post. Érick Gutiérrez came on for Sadílek on 57 minutes. PSV went in search of an equaliser while AZ looked to exploit the space behind the PSV defence. With the clock ticking down, Angeliño had a shot cleared off the line. Schwaab went into the referee’s note book for a foul on Gudmundsson. Van Bommel made a double substitution bringing on two 19-year-old youngsters on 80 minutes. Mohamed Ihattaren replaced Pablo Rosario and Cody Gakpo made way for Zakaria Aboukhlal, who made his PSV debut but they could not avert PSV’s third defeat of the season, either. FT: 1-0.

After registering a 4-1 win over FC Utrecht, Ajax are in pole position when they travel to Doetinchem to face De Graafschap in their title-winning game. PSV host Heracles Almelo on Wednesday 15 May in their final game of the 2018/19 season.