PSV earned their final Champions League berth on Sunday, the final day of the Eredivisie season. Eindhovenalen defeated AZ Alkmaar 1-2 at Alkmaar’s AFAS Stadium, with Xabi Simmons’ brace included. Ajax’s 3-1 loss to FC Twente in Enschede means they will qualify for the Europa League next season.
PSV knew a win at Alkmaar would give them second place and a final Champions League spot. Ajax had to win and PSV lose to finish second. If Ajax loses and AZ wins, AZ will overtake Ajax and qualify for the Europa League.
The Eindhoven side entered their first match of the season without coach Ruud van Nistelrooy. The former striker resigned as PSV manager earlier this week, claiming he didn’t feel trusted by his players.
After tweeting his thanks to Van Nistelrooy earlier this week, Xabi Symonds made a difference once again for the KNVB cupholders. The midfielder broke the deadlock in the 65th minute with a Luke de Jong flick on to score the winning goal. Both supporters cheered when the news broke that Ajax had lost at Enschede.
AZ scored the equalizer in the 84th minute with a penalty after Joey Wierman fouled Reachedry Bazoor. Jesper Karlsson scored a penalty and scored for an exciting finish. Anwar El Ghazi was sent off for PSV in the second minute of stoppage time and Simmons scored again to give PSV the win. It was Simon’s 19th goal of the season, equaling FC Utrecht’s Anastasios Duvicas as the top scorer in the Eredivisie season.
Ajax had initially taken the lead through Dusan Tadic in what would likely be the last match for interim manager John Haitinga. However, the match ended a fitting end to Ajax’s season as FC Twente won 3-1 with goals from Manfred Uganda, Julio Pregezero and former Ajax swinger Vaclav Cerny.
PSV will qualify for the Champions League from the third qualifying round next season. Ajax will qualify for the Europa League from the play-off round.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/05/28/stunning-finish-puts-psv-champions-league-ajax-europa-league Stunning finish for PSV to Champions League and Ajax to Europa League