PSV secured participation in the Europa League on Thursday. In Trondheim, the decisive play-off match against Rosenborg BK was won 0-2, with recently hired striker Eran Zahavi playing a leading role in his debut with a goal and an assist.
Zahavi shows himself immediately
Zahavi opened the score in the 22nd minute with a nice header after hitting the post a few minutes earlier. In the second half, he was the principal for the second PSV goal, which came in the name of Cody Gakpo.
PSV had reached the play-offs last week by simply dealing with the Slovenian NS Mura (1-5) in the third heat. The team from Eindhoven also played in the Europa League last year and then stranded in the group stage.
PSV’s victory over Rosenborg means that the Netherlands is represented with three clubs in the Europa League this season. Feyenoord and AZ were already certain of participation in the second European club tournament.
The PSV of trainer Roger Schmidt had the upper hand in Norway from the start on Thursday. The match started messy, but it was the people from Eindhoven who caused the most danger, especially via Zahavi. The experienced striker (33), who mainly made a name for himself as a goal getter in his home country Israel and China, already had a chance at the opening goal in the first minutes.
In the nineteenth minute he hit the post at his second chance, but at the third chance it was hit not much later. The ball was brought in front of the goal by Donyell Malen and Zahavi found the corner with a nice header.
Strengthened by the goal, PSV went on the hunt for more before half time and Gakpo was close with a blocked shot. Just before half time, Schmidt’s team also got away well, when the ball bounced just in front of a nice bet by Carlo Holse.
Joy among the players of PSV after the opening goal by Eran Zahavi. (Photo: Pro Shots)
PSV was also the parent in the second half and again it was Zahavi who drew attention to himself. The Israeli shot first narrowly and later delivered too soft a bet to surprise Rosenborg keeper André Hansen.
The same Hansen also kept Malen off when there was a big chance of scoring, but still had to allow the second PSV goal in the 61st minute. Zahavi lost to Gakpo, who hit the inside of the post.
Just before that, the 24-time national champion had suffered a setback, because left back Philipp Max – the newcomer had made a good impression in his first PSV matches – grabbed his hamstring and had to be replaced.