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PSV close to Champions League qualification again

PSV will get the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League via the playoffs for the third year in a row. The Eindhovenaren won their third-round qualifying match on Tuesday at Sturm Graz: 1-3. PSV had already the number two in Austria 4-1 last week in the Phillips Stadion in the first leg.

PSV will face Rangers in the playoffs in a two-legged affair. PSV were knocked out by Benfica at this stage two years ago and also against Rangers last season. They will start with an away match.

Newcomer Noa Lang, who has made a convincing start at PSV, did not come out of the 2-0 victory against Utrecht last weekend completely fit. Manager Peter Bosz could afford to keep Lang on the bench and start Yorbe Vertessen due to last week’s big win. The manager also rewarded Ismail Saibari after his excellent performance off the bench against Utrecht. The attacking midfielder was allowed to start in Graz ahead of the 18-year-old Isaac Babadi.

Sturm Graz had announced that they would start furiously, but it did not show. PSV created the first bit of danger. After a good pass from Joey Veerman, Vertessen could not get the ball under control in the fourth minute. Sturm Graz goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen saved a header from PSV captain Luuk de Jong shortly after.

The home team took the initiative briefly midway through the first half. The Dane William Bóving seemed likely to score after 19 minutes, but the ball went over the goal via goalkeeper Walter Benitez. They did succeed a few minutes later. After a cross from the left-hand side from midfielder Alexander Prass Bóving found the net.

PSV hit back quickly. After de Jong laid the ball off, Veerman curled it perfectly into the corner: 1-1. Eight minutes after that superb strike, de Jong put PSV ahead. The striker headed the ball while falling after a fantastic cross from Jordan Teze.

Bosz left the fatigued de Jong behind at halftime, bringing Ricardo Pepi to replace him. Sturm Graz thought they had leveled from a corner after 60 minutes, but the goal was disallowed for offside. Pepi converted a penalty in the closing stages after a handball: 1-3.

https://nltimes.nl/2023/08/15/psv-close-champions-league-qualification PSV close to Champions League qualification again

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