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PSV seal semi-final spot

Wednesday, 13 April 2005

By Kevin Ashby at Philips stadium

[1] 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

[2] 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

[3] Both sides were unchanged from the first leg and both 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

[4] 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

[5] 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

[6] 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

[7] 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

[8] 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

[9] 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.

PSV's Robert celebrates scoring the winning penalty