PSV boots Lyon out of Champions League

14th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, April 13 (AFP) - PSV Eindhoven booked a Champions League semi-final with AC Milan here Wednesday, beating Lyon 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after the scores were level on 1-1 after extra-time.

EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, April 13 (AFP) - PSV Eindhoven booked a Champions League semi-final with AC Milan here Wednesday, beating Lyon 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after the scores were level on 1-1 after extra-time.

PSV's Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes held his nerve in pouring rain to save shots by Michael Essien and Eric Abidal, while Lyon's Gregory Coupet managed to keep out only DaMarcus Beasley's effort.

The two sides were deadlocked after extra time after Sylvain Wiltord's 10th minute goal for Lyon was cancelled out by Alex in the 50th minute for PSV.

That left them 2-2 on aggregate.

The result meant more European heartbreak for Lyon - which boasted the best scoring record of any of the sides left in the competition, with 28 goals in nine games - after being knocked out at the same stage last season.

In a tense opening period in Eindhoven's rain-soaked Philips Stadium, the first attacking moment came after nine minutes and sharpshooter Wiltord made no mistake for his fifth goal of the campaign.

A Florent Malouda cross into PSV's box was badly headed away by Wilfred Bouma into the path of a bounding Wiltord who did well to chest the ball down and strike a powerful shot past the despairing clutches of Gomes.

Wiltord, causing all sorts of problems for the PSV defence on the left wing, was almost the provider four minutes later, latching on to a loose ball and sending a cross in towards a goal-hanging Malouda, but Gomes intercepted.

PSV's first real chance on goal came from Mark Van Bommel, who was given too much space on the edge of the area but only managed to fire his shot high.

PSV continued to press and South Korean striker Park Ji-Sung was at the centre of a series of crosses that tested the defence of the three-time French champions but Coupet was up to the challenge.

Park had a chance in the 38th minute but blasted his shot high over Coupet's goal. And Jan Vennegor of Hesselink's first touch let him down with a clear sight on goal just two minutes later as PSV dominated possession.

Bouma was caught napping as soon as the second-half started, a Malouda through ball playing in Ghana striker Essien past the stocky PSV defender only to shoot wide.

As PSV pushed for an equaliser, Brazilian defender Alex chested down a bad defensive header by Abidal from a Van Bommel free-kick and drilled a right-foot volley through a crowd of players and a frozen Coupet in the 50th minute.

With Lyon under the cosh, Park's 30-yard drive went close to adding number two for PSV just a minute later.

In the 71st minute, Gomes punched out a corner directly to Lyon's Brazilian defender Cris whose shot ricocheted off two defenders before being cleared off the line.

From the resulting corner, the ball broke again to Cris whose overhead kick had Gomes beaten but went just wide.

At the other end, Coupet did well to parry a cross bound for fast-advancing American striker Beasley, on as a replacement for Vennegor.

With six minutes left of normal time Beasley was played in by the workhorse Van Bommel but his strike was deflected by Brazilian Claudio Cacapa and went just wide and the two sides went into extra-time.

Veteran Philip Cocu came closest in the 30 added minutes, his left-footed shot hitting the side netting after a mistake by Cris on the edge of the area.

Lyon had reason to be aggrieved minutes later when Danish referee Kim Nielsen failed to award a penalty after Gomes brought down replacement striker Nilmar in the penalty box.

PSV launched a barrage of attacks and Park, again allowed too much space, Cocu and Van Bommel from a free-kick all saw shots go narrowly wide before Nielsen blew up for the penalty shoot-out.

"That's certainly the biggest disappointment of my coaching career," said Lyon coach Paul Le Guen. "To lose like that on a penalty shoot-out is terrible."

Le Guen added that he thought Nilmar's claim of a penalty in extra-time was justified.

"It seems to me there was a foul and TV pictures seem to confirm that."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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