PSV honors Van der Kuijlen with victory over FC Groningen and postpones title party Ajax

PSV postponed the Ajax championship by at least a week with a 1-0 win over FC Groningen on Saturday. The game in Eindhoven was dominated by the death of ‘Mister PSV’ Willy van der Kuijlen on Monday at the age of 74.

On Saturday afternoon, Van der Kuijlen’s funeral ceremony took place in the Philips Stadium. The match was preceded by a minute of silence and during the eleventh minute, the jersey number of the all-time top scorer of the Eredivisie, the four thousand fans present applauded the club icon.

Eran Zahavi made the only goal of the match in the second half from a penalty awarded by the VAR. The video arbiter played a leading role anyway by canceling two Eindhoven hits after the break.

PSV’s victory also means that Ajax cannot become champion this weekend. The team from Amsterdam will play at home against AZ on Sunday, which is now three points behind PSV in the battle for second place.

PSV misses good chances in the first half

PSV was the better team before half-time and had a handful of good opportunities. Cody Gakpo hit the bar after fifteen minutes of play with a hard swipe.

Groningen’s most dangerous moment in the first half came after a slip by Yvon Mvogo, but the PSV goalkeeper was just able to avoid a goal afterwards. Then Donyell Malen was close to the opening goal, but he stranded on Groningen goalkeeper Sergio Padt.

Zahavi and again Malen were also still threatening for PSV, after which Ibrahim Sangaré had the best chance of the first half. At 2 meters from the goal, the midfielder shot over.

Three of the four PSV hits were rejected

Groningen also hit the aluminum early in the second half. Mohamed El Hankouri hit the post out of reach of Mvogo. PSV then took control and was threatening a number of times before Zahavi appeared to open the score.

The four thousand fans in the Philips Stadium cheered for nothing, however, because the VAR concluded that the ball had crossed the back line at the cross of Denzel Dumfries and canceled the opening goal.

A few minutes later, the VAR PSV came to the rescue. Groningen defender Wessel Dammers received a ball from close range against his outstretched arm and referee Jeroen Manschot awarded a penalty kick after long doubts, which was used by Zahavi: 1-0.

With that, the leading role of the VAR was not over yet, because a few minutes later Gakpo’s 2-0 was rejected by the video arbiter, because the PSV attacker appeared to be slightly offside with Malen’s through ball.

In the final phase, another goal from PSV was rejected. Malen shot the ball past Padt, but the linesman flagged offside.

Due to all the delay, no less than eight minutes of injury time were added. Groningen keeper Padt went forward with a corner kick and almost headed in the undeserved equalizer. The stake went in front of his colleague Mvogo’s goal.

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