Donyell Malen was the shining center at PSV on Thursday after the hard-fought 1-2 victory in the Europa League against Omonia Nicosia. The attacker scored both goals for the Eindhoven team and wore the captain’s armband for the first time.
‘Referees thought Omonia’s goal too good to reject’
“Yes, of course I am very happy”, said Malen, who started the group stage with PSV last week with a 1-2 defeat against Granada. RTL 7. “It was a very important game for us and a very special situation.”
Malen was referring to the many corona cases within the selection. Trainer Roger Schmidt missed no less than six players on Cyprus, including Cody Gakpo, Pablo Rosario and captain Denzel Dumfries.
“We certainly didn’t play a top match, but we did fight”, said Malen. “The situation is far from ideal, although I don’t want to use that as an excuse. But as a team we handle it well and then you ultimately deserve the victory.”
“The way in which we won, says everything about the fighting spirit of this PSV. Even if the ball does not want to go in immediately, we will just keep going. We have the confidence that the goal will be dropped.”
Donyell Malen is buried by fellow players after he has given PSV victory in injury time. (Photo: Pro Shots)
That winning goal eventually fell deep into injury time. Malen was released by Ryan Thomas and shot controlled. Five minutes before half-time he had also taken care of the 1-1, after the home team had taken the lead after half an hour of play with a free kick from the first half.
“Although that goal should not have been approved, because the ball was not standing still”, Malen noted. “But the referee probably thought the goal was too good to reject. At such a moment you think that everything is going against you.”
In the end, Malen took his team by the hand, precisely in the match that he could wear the captain’s armband for the first time in the absence of Dumfries.
“Of course it is a shame that Denzel was not there, but for me personally this is a good moment. I am very proud to be able to wear the captain’s armband as a 21-year-old.”