By Jules Marshall at the Philips Stadium
PSV Eindhoven completed the double over newly crowned Norwegian champions Rosenborg BK to climb three points clear at the top of Group E. It was a solid performance that emphasised that coach Guus Hiddink has been building a team who show strength in all parts of the pitch, and it was rewarded by DaMarcus Beasley's first-half winner.
PSV started with a flourish and that they had the perfect weapon in Beasley soon became apparent. The pacy American international shone on US election day, breaking through twice in this opening period, only for his last touch to let him down both times.
There was nothing wrong with Beasley's touch in the tenth minute, however, when Phillip Cocu launched a long ball from inside his own half, and he got on to the end of it and blasted the ball into Espen Johnsen's goal. The American almost scored again a couple of minutes later, a confident shot flying just wide of the top left-hand corner.
PSV's good work was almost undone in the 13th minute when Edwin Zoetebier, deputising for the injured Heurelho Gomes in goal, slipped in clearing a simple back-pass, presenting the ball to Frode Johnsen. He fed Ståle Stensaas on the left but the full-back, forced out wide by Zoetebier, failed to pick out Johnsen with his return pass with the goalkeeper stranded.
PSV again showed some defensive frailty on 20 minutes, failing to clear a loose ball in the box but again none of Rosenborg's strikers could take advantage. However, just as Ola By Rise's side began to show why they were crowned Norwegian champions for the 13th consecutive season on Saturday, they were almost hit by a goal on the break.
Mark van Bommel intercepted a ball played up the line and ran free on goal. Closed down well, however, his snatched shot went wide. Then, Van Bommel was bundled over 40 metres from the Rosenborg goal, and Brazilian defender Alex went close with the resulting free-kick.
Threat out wide
The closest Rosenborg got in the first half was a Stensaas free-kick gathered comfortably by Zoetebier. The industrious Beasley on the left and Jefferson Farfán down the other flank continued to carry the threat to the visitors right up until the half-time whistle.
Rosenborg, who had begun the day three points adrift at the foot of the section, came out for the second half with more conviction, but they still showed little guile in the final third of the pitch, and won no more than a corner in the first 15 minutes after the restart.
Meanwhile, Beasley was still finding room to torment the away side, although his enthusiastic athleticism was at times not matched by the end product. Farfán dribbled well into the Rosenborg box in the 64th minute and delivered a tantalising cross, but no PSV attacker could get a foot to it.
By Rise opted to increase his firepower in the 66th minute, bringing on Daniel Braaten for defender Stensaas and as the clock ticked down, Rosenborg could have saved an all-important point when the ball was pulled back to Mikael Dorsin but he blasted well over from ten metres with eleven minutes remaining.
There was a final scare for the 26,000 home fans, when with four minutes to play, Zoetebier let a weak back-pass trickle under his foot, only to recover in time to clear the ball off his own line.