PSV beat Ajax on penalties to win the KNVB Beker
PSV beat Ajax on Sunday for the fifth time this season to win the KNVB Beker. After an own goal from Jarrad Branthwaite and a goal from Thorgan Hazard were not able to split the sides, PSV were victorious on penalties.
PSV manager Ruud van Nistelrooij stuck to his word as Joel Drommel was given the starting place. Van Nistelrooij had promised the second-choice keeper that he would start all cup matches this season. The side was otherwise unchanged compared to the team that beat Ajax 3-0 last week in Eindhoven. Edson Alvarez returned to the side for Ajax. He missed last week’s fixture with a suspension. This was a repeat from last season when PSV beat Ajax 2-1 in the final.
The first chance of the match came after 23 minutes. Xavi Simons met a low cross, but it was an awkward angle for the winger, who hit it over. Luuk de Jong was strongly appealing for a penalty, but it was not awarded.
PSV’s most significant chance of the first half came after a potentially disastrous mistake by Davy Klaassen. The experienced midfielder lost the ball in a dangerous position which Luuk de Jong then picked up. But his pass was too far ahead of Guus Til, which gave Ajax goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli time to come off his line and deflect the attempt for a corner.
Ajax took the lead with three minutes left in the first half. Steven Bergwijn created the goal against his former club. The winger dribbled past Jordan Teze before hitting a hard cross across the box, which was deflected into the PSV goal by Jarrad Branthwaite. PSV were furious as they should have been awarded a corner just before the attack.
The match was marred with bust-ups and arguments between players, with five players getting booked in the first half alone.
Ajax thought they had doubled their lead after 54 minutes. A chip from Devyne Rensch proved a hard ball to deal with for Teze, who lost the battle to Bergwijn, leaving Brian Brobbey one on one with Drommel. Brobbey went around Drommel but then hit the post.
PSV equalized just over ten minutes later. Simons got through in the box before crossing for substitute Thorgan Hazard to poke the ball home.
Simons kept causing Ajax problems as he almost took advantage of a slip-up by Edson Alvarez. But his volley was stopped by the legs of Geronimo Rulli in the Ajax goal.
The match went to extra time, which went by without a single big chance being created. It was clear that the players were tired at the end of what has been a long season for both sides and ready for penalties.
The penalties were as mistake-ridden as the match. Brian Brobbey and Jurrien Timber missed for Ajax with the first two penalties, not even needing a save from Drommel. Ibrahim Sangare and Andre Ramalho missed for PSV, meaning it went to the fifth and final penalties before sudden death. One of the best players in the match, Edson Alvarez, saw his penalty saved by Drommel leaving Fabio Silva to convert his penalty and make PSV the KNVB Beker winners of 2023 just like they were last season.