Penalty gives Dutch side victory in pouring rain
SEOUL: A Mark van Bommel penalty gave Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven a 1-0 victory over Olympique Lyon of France in the final of the Peace Cup pre-season tournament on Tuesday.
In torrential rain at Seoul's World Cup Stadium, both sides struggled on a pitch that became increasingly waterlogged.
“Regarding tonight's game we have seen two different matches, in the first half it was a football match and in the second half, it was almost water ballet, or water polo,” PSV coach Guus Hiddink told a post-match news conference.
But the former South Korea coach, a hero in the Asian country after steering the national side to last year's World Cup semi-finals on home soil, said it had been a good tournament for PSV and welcomed the preparation for next season.
“I think we deserved to win based on the first half,” he added.
The only goal came after a meandering run by Arjen Robben from the halfway line ended with him being brought down in the penalty area after 23 minutes.
Van Bommel coolly converted the penalty high into the left corner, bringing loud cheers from a partisan crowd of 33,778 who were mainly behind Hiddink's PSV, who include two South Korean internationals, Park Ji-sung and Lee Young-pyo.
A single goal was enough to secure PSV the US$2 million prize in a game that became almost farcical at times as the players struggled to stand up and make the ball to move.
“If it had been a normal game I think it should have been abandoned because of the high injury risk and the inability to meet normal game conditions, but to meet Peace Cup regulations and the spectator enthusiasm we decided to play on,” said Lyon coach Paul Le Guen.
The French champions were mostly restricted to long-range efforts in the second half, although it took two attempts by PSV goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus to hold a strike from Juninho Pernambucano.
At the other end, French international Gregory Coupet made a series of excellent late saves after Robben and substitute Mateja Kezman were clean through on goal.
South Korea playmaker Ji-sung, who won the tournament's Golden Boot award, said:
“I'm very glad to be back in Seoul and to play in front of the fans.” – Reuters