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By Matthew Spiro at the Stade Louis II
A late goal from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink kept PSV Eindhoven's hopes of qualifying for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League alive, as they sealed a 1-1 draw against AS Monaco FC in the Stade Louis II on Wednesday. The point was enough to see the French team join Real Madrid CF and Juventus FC in the last 16, while PSV must fight for their Champions League lives against RC Deportivo La Coruña on Matchday 6.
Vennegoor of Hesselink strike
Following Fernando Morientes' first-half strike, the game seemed to be slipping away from ten-man PSV, but they were given renewed hope when Monaco's Andreas Zikos was sent off for a second bookable offence seven minutes from time. From the resulting free-kick, Vennegoor of Hesselink rose to head in Arjen Robben's right-wing cross and send the travelling fans into a state of delirium.
Monaco had scored 12 goals in their previous two home Champions League matches, and manager Didier Deschamps signalled his attacking intentions by playing the in-form Dado Pršo up front with Fernando Morientes. PSV, meanwhile, ravaged by injuries and suspension, were forced to field an inexperienced side, with 18-year-old midfield player Johann Vonlanthen making his debut.
Robben come close
Nevertheless it was the visitors who started the brighter and Monaco goalkeeper Flavio Roma was called into action as early as the sixth minute. PSV's 19-year-old winger Arjen Robben won possession on the edge of the area and unleashed a swerving left-footed drive that Roma did well to tip over the crossbar.
PSV on form
PSV's youngsters continued to impress early on and Johann Vonlanthen almost slipped Ji-Sung Park through with a clever pass that was intercepted by Julien Rodriguez. Vonlanthen caused problems to the Monaco defence again on 20 minutes, turning Patrice Evra on the right before delivering a dangerous cross that was cleared to safety by Andreas Zikos.
Monaco hit back
Monaco were struggling to find the form that had disposed of Deportivo by a record-breaking 8-3 margin three weeks earlier, but produced their first goal attempt on 26 minutes as Patrice Evra shot wide from distance. That effort sparked Monaco's first spell of pressure in the match, and they took full advantage by opening the scoring after 34 minutes.
Morientes on target
PSV managed to clear a corner from the right, but when Rodriguez delivered the ball back into the box Morientes was there to head powerfully towards the bottom corner. Goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus got his hand to the ball but could not keep it out.
The Dutch team started the second half in lively fashion but were dealt a major blow just five minutes in when Theo Lucius was sent off for a second yellow card. The midfield player was penalised for taking a free-kick on the edge of the Monaco penalty area before the referee had blown his whistle. From the retaken kick, Kezman could only hold his head in frustration as his shot deflected off the wall and flew narrowly wide of the right-hand post.
Monaco were soon in the ascendancy, however, and threatened to double their lead on the hour mark. Jérôme Rothen broke free down the left and delivered a swerving low cross that Waterreus could not hold. Ludovic Giuly pounced on to the loose ball but the PSV goalkeeper recovered well and saved bravely at the feet of the Monaco captain.
PSV continued to press and earned their reward through Vennegoor of Hesselink. In a frantic finish, the home side were reduced to nine men when their captain Giuly was shown a red card and in the end it was the home side that were grateful for a point.
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