PSV managed to get the best out of one of its worst weeks. The victory against Omonia Nicosia is exactly what the squad needed and a great way to prepare for ADO Den Haag.
The Eindhoven squad prepared for the Europa League match in Cyprus, knowing they couldn’t make use of 11 players. Seven due to positive COVID-19 tests, and four due to long term injuries. Before taking off to the airport, another player got a positive test, but the worst was yet to come.
PSV and UEFA clash with Cypriot authorities
The team had already boarded at Eindhoven Airport. At 9:50 Dutch time, the Cypriot authorities informed PSV’s management that Jordan Teze and Eran Zahavi weren’t allowed to enter the island country. The Dutch defender and Israeli striker tested positive earlier this month. They had, however, been training along with the selection again because they were symptom-free and tested since negative several times. Yet, Cyprus apparently feared the two were still somehow infectious. Or something else was going on.
General manager, Toon Gerbrands contacted the UEFA, and found they both were clearly on the same page. PSV had played everything by the rules and met all standards the European Football Association set to keep football safe in these trying times. “But,” said Gerbrands in an interview with De Telegraaf, “they also told us that if we took the gamble with the authorities there and indeed would have to be quarantined, we would have to take the punch of a regulatory loss.”
So, both players disembarked, and the squad took off to Cyprus without them, with only three official defenders. PSV kept trying to set things straight and finally were allowed to fly Jordan Teze in, a couple of hours before dinner on matchday. PSV has filed an official complaint about this situation, stating that it’s not possible to speak of an equal playing field when local authorities are going to overrule the UEFA. To be continued…
PSV got what they deserved
The match obviously wasn’t an easy one, and PSV looked uncomfortable in the first 20 minutes. The Lithuanian referee, Donatas Rumsas, made it even harder to get the ball rolling. He blew for every major body contact moment throughout the first 45 minutes.
Just when Roger Schmidt’s team started turning the match in their favour, Omonia scored. The 35-year-old Spaniard, Jordi Gómez, took a free kick from his own half, taking Yvon Mvogo by surprise. The fantastic goal should have been called off because Gómez took the free kick before the ball stopped rolling. But it’s hard to convince a referee when there is no VAR available.
PSV kept pressing on and captain, Donyell Malen, finally converted a chance into gold, five minutes before half time. After the break, Rumsas decided to start pulling unnecessary yellow cards. The first went to Ryan Thomas, who created a dangerous situation for Mvogo several minutes into the half. From that moment on, PSV became stronger and kept looking for cracks in the red wall.
Omonia were simply leaning backwards and playing on the counter, but couldn’t stop PSV in the 92nd minute. Ihattaren kicked Mario Götze’s forward pass to Thomas, who placed it with utmost precision in front of Malen’s right foot, who finished it perfectly. PSV really got what it deserved that evening.
Next opponent: ADO Den Haag
PSV went home to Eindhoven on Friday, hoping for some leniency from the Dutch Royal Football Association (KNVB), given the circumstances. However, the KNVB responded negatively to the club’s request to postpone Sunday’s match by a couple of hours or a day later. The question is now how the players will recover. And if infected players test negative on Saturday and can rejoin the group, and maybe make minutes against ADO.
PSV and ADO Den Haag have played against each other a total of 104 times. PSV won 63 and lost 16 times, scoring 253 goals and conceding 108. In the context of the Eredivisie, PSV won 35 and lost only 6 of the 48 matches. The average score is in PSV’s advantage, with 2,45 against 1,01, while PSV’s biggest victory dates back to 1 January 1988. ADO were sent home with a 9-1 loss, and two years later with a 9-2. PSV has also beaten ADO with 7-0 twice: first in at home in 2013, then away in September 2018.
ADO fans’ absolute highlight must be the equaliser by goalkeeper Martin Hansen. It was 11 August 2015, and PSV were leading with 1-2 in Den Haag. In the 95th minute, Hansen decided to get into the penalty box and caught everybody by surprise with a fantastic back heel kick. PSV drew again twice, in 2017 and 2018, but ADO hasn’t beaten the red and whites since April 1991.
ADO Den Haag have been struggling financially for many years now. There has been a lot of drama since the club came in Chinese hands in 2014. But the Hagenezen, as they’re known in Dutch, have managed to stay in the Eredivisie.
This summer, the club had to reinvent the squad once more, letting 28 players and the club’s driving forces go and attract no less than 20 new ones. The club lost four of its first six matches and won only one, plus last week’s KNVB Cup match against Sparta Rotterdam. Then, former PSV goalie, Luuk Koopmans, saved the day with a fantastic header in extra time.
With Amar Catic and Dante Rigo, ADO has two other familiar PSV faces under contract. Both have played all six matches so far but haven’t been good for any goals or assists yet. And with a goal difference of minus six, you could think that maybe this team is one of the best PSV could have as opponents, under the circumstances.
‘It can’t get worse than Thursday’
“It can’t get worse than yesterday [Thursday], when we had to pull a player out of the plane,” Roger Schmidt replied when asked what he thinks of the current situation. The German head coach has to wait until Saturday evening before he knows which players are available and fit enough to play the first Eredivisie home match since 4 October.
Timo Baumgartl, Maxime Delanghe, Denzel Dumfries, Cody Gakpo, Joel Piroe, Pablo Rosario, and Nick Viergever can play if they test negative, even though they haven’t trained with the group. “I have yet to talk to them about how they feel, but they had almost no symptoms. They trained at home for ten days,” says Roger.
Match: PSV – ADO Den Haag
Date: Sunday, 1 November 2020
Time: 16:45 (6:45 PM)
Location: Philips Stadium, Eindhoven
Referee: Jochem Kamphuis
VAR: Jannick van der Laan
Broadcast: Fox Sports
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Article by Joey van der Hart for Eindhoven News.