Spakenburg 1-2 PSV: Giant-killers bow out with a final flourish from Green
FC Spakenburg’s Dutch Cup adventure ended with a spirited display in front of 8,000 fans against Eredivisie leading lights PSV.
Ruud van Nistelrooy named a near full-strength side for the match at Sportpark de Westmaat, with international stars such as Xavi Simons and Luuk de Jong lining up against a team standing 10th in the Second Division.
The Bunschoten-based club, only the third amateur side to reach the semi-finals in the professional era, were unable to repeat the heroics of previous rounds against Groningen and Utrecht, but pushed PSV all the way and celebrated with their fans at the final whistle after a 2-1 defeat.
Spakenburg held out until the 43rd minute, when defender Erick Gutierrez forced the ball over the line from a corner to give the visitors the lead.
And straight after half-time the match looked to be settled as a contest when Patrick van Aanholt ran on to Simons’s pass and dispatched it past goalkeeper Alessandro Damen.
But the amateurs regathered and their efforts were rewarded in spectacular fashion in the 59th minute. A corner was cleared to the feet of Barbados international left-back Dwayne Green, who took a touch before unleashing a shot from 40 metres that flew into the top corner.
PSV never looked in serious trouble after that, but were unable to restore the two-goal advantage as Spakenburg refused to buckle.
De Jong paid tribute to his opponents after the match as fans poured on to the pitch to celebrate with the players.
‘They’ve had a terrific run, they’ve beaten other Eredivisie clubs and they made it very hard for us tonight. I’ve got huge respect for them.’
Spakenburg striker Floris van der Linden said it was a fitting end to a memorable cup run. ‘If you can keep going in a match like this to the 90th minute and hold it in the balance right up to the final whistle, that’s a great performance,’ he said.
PSV will learn the identity of their cup final opponents on Wednesday night when Feyenoord take on Ajax in Rotterdam. The final will also be played in De Kuip stadium on April 30.
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