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Feyenoord keep dream alive

Feyenoord 1-1 PSV Eindhoven - Feyenoord needed penalties to edge an all-Dutch tie.

Feyenoord 1-1 PSV Eindhoven aet (2-2 on aggregate, Feyenoord win 5-4 on penalties)
Pierre van Hooijdonk took Feyenoord a step nearer a UEFA Cup final appearance in their own stadium by stroking home the final spot-kick in a penalty decider as the home team and PSV Eindhoven were tied at 1-1 after extra time of an enthralling struggle.

Thrilling equaliser
It was Van Hooijdonk who had taken the quarter-final second leg into an additional 30 minutes with a thrilling equaliser three minutes into time added on. PSV will be devastated after taking the lead late on in normal time. They had less than a minute to survive only for Van Hooijdonk to put away a towering header. The penalty shoot-out was equally tight; George Gakhokidze seeing his attempt saved with PSV's third penalty and after that Feyenoord stayed calm to emerge triumphant at the end of the all-Netherlands clash.

Revenge for Feyenoord

It also gave Feyenoord revenge for a defeat on penalties earlier this term against these same opponents in the Dutch Cup. Incredibly all four contests between the teams this season have ended in draws.

Van Bommel in the thick of things
Both sides deserve credit for the way they battled throughout and the commitment level never waned. PSV's goal in the 76th minute was an equally dramatic affair with Marc van Bommel scoring with an emphatic shot from outside the area. The PSV captain - he is also the son-in-law of Feyenoord coach Bert van Marwijk - was sent off at the start of extra time but by this time both teams were feeling the effects of a vigorously-contested affair and Feyenoord were unable to take advantage of the extra man.

Faber hurt
Just as in the first game it was Feyenoord who made the running, although genuine goalscoring chances were at a premium. The PSV defence came under pressure and Ernest Faber, standing in for the suspended Kevin Hofland, came off worse in an aerial challenge with Van Hooijdonk and had to depart for treatment.

Teams get closer
After 30 minutes both sides began to get closer to goal. Dennis Rommedahl nudged Theo Lucius into space down the inside right channel and after he zipped a low ball across the area it was fortunate for Feyenoord that no one was on hand to add a decisive touch.

Van Persie misses badly
Brett Emerton then produced a strong run and from the corner he gained Patrick Paauwe executed an overhead which was was not far wide. At the start of the second half Robin van Persie missed a great opportunity after Paul Bosvelt had played him in. The winger was wide of the target when from that position it demanded that he at least engage the goalkeeper.

Smolarek off target
Feyenoord continued to look the most likely team to score and it was then substitute Ebi Smolarek's turn to hold his head. Emerton drifted the ball across and Smolarek could do no better than to crash a diving header into the boards.

Superb finish by Van Bommel
A minute later and PSV seized the lead thanks to a superbly measured finish by Van Bommel who took the ball forward to the left of goal but finished unerringly with his right foot leaving Edwin Zoetebier well beaten. Feyenoord were clearly stunned and PSV had chances to finish them off but Mateja Kezman missed badly as he stretched to reach a cross from Adil Ramzi. Gakhokidze allowed Zoetebier to make a save, Ramzi fired into the side-nettting and then Kezman spurned another chance.

Van Hooijdonk there when it mattered
PSV believed they had got away with it but with the clock running down Van Hooijdonk produced his prodigious leap to a cross from Johan Elmander and had enough strength to direct a brilliant header towards the far corner and above the desperate leap of the last defender. The Feyenoord faithful were celebrating then and again when Van Hooijdonk put away that last penalty.

'Best team won'
Van Marwijk was a delighted coach afterwards and said that "the best team had won". He added: "Pierre is our hero - scoring the equaliser and then the last penalty and all the players are very happy."

PSV now go for title
For PSV the defeat means they have only the Dutch championship to concentrate on. They lie two points behind Feyenoord in third place and it will be hard to recover from this defeat. Coach Eric Gerets said: "As a player I was sometimes worn out but now I feel completely exhausted. We are devastated with the result because we should have made it 2-0 but then allowed Feyenoord to come back into the game with that late equaliser."