THURSDAY 21ST AUGUST
EUROPA LEAGUE PLAYOFF – FIRST LEG
PSV 1 – 0 FC SHAKHTYOR SOLIGORSK
PSV Eindhoven win the first out of two games after attacking midfielder Adam Maher led his team to a 1-0 win thanks to a deflected shot. Next week the teams face each other in the return leg in Belarus writes Lawk Raoof.
It was clear at the start of the game that Shakhtyor wasn’t headed for Eindhoven to impress the fans with flashing combination football. Sadly, it came only to make football impossible for home-team PSV Eindhoven. PSV impressed by high-tempo pressing football and combination through the middle to break through the Belarus defense of Shakhtyor Saligorshk. However, it was after a quarter hour that the first Dutch opening was created by Brenet after a good combination at the right. But defensive winger Brenet choose the wrong side of the goal. After the good first half hour of the match another big chance occurred for PSV. Striker Luuk de Jong had a great opportunity to crack the match with a goal, however his header missed the goal. The greatest moment of the first half was the cheeky lob of World Cup star Memphis Depay which could barely be ticked over by the goalie.
After 59’ minutes of gameplay it was Adam Maher who opened the score by a deflected shot after a short corner from Depay. It was his first goal for PSV in 2014. It was a great relieve and the importance of this goal is great. The team lead by Cocu could play at a slower pace to spare energy for the biggest game of this season on Sunday against four-time Eredivisie champions Ajax. However, an enormous mistake from PSV defender Bruma lead Shakthyor to a chance to play even, but they missed at open goal. It stayed 1-0 for PSV and the return is still left to be played.
PSV: Pasveer, Brenet, Bruma, Rekik, Tamata, Wijnaldum, Hiljemark (Hendrix 51), Maher (Ritzmaier 88), Locadia (Narsingh 63), De Jong, Depay.
SUBS NOT USED: Zoet, Willems, Jozefzoon, Vloet.
GOALS: Maher 59.
SHAKHTYOR: Kotenko, Yamushkevich, Kashevski, Kuzianok, Galyuza (Leonchik 88), Matveychik, Stargorodsky, Yurevich, Guruli (Kovalev 89), Yanush (Osipenko 85), Rios.
SUBS NOT USED: Tsevan, VasilevskI.
BOOKINGS: Kuzmainok 66, Stargorodsky 70, Kashevski 73.
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