PSV Eindhoven can count themselves lucky to progress to the semi-finals of the 25th Canon Lion City Cup, after ending the group stages without a win and without scoring a single goal.
But they spared no punches to clinch a 3-2 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday night and set up an exciting clash against Corinthians for the championship trophy on June 16.
“We deserved to win, especially [in] the first half; it was a great performance from us,” PSV coach Edwin de Wijs said after the match.
“We knew at halftime that if the score is still 2-1 and there are 10 minutes left, they will play long balls but we managed to make it 3-1 to ensure we go to the final.”
De Wijs also felt that his German opponents were not of the same caliber as the previous two teams they had met.
“This is a different opponent and we played well in the first game [against NFA U15] but we played much better today,” he said.
“Frankfurt is not as strong as Corinthians and in the first game we had to cope with the weather and the field; it was difficult for us.
“Now our game has improved and we [would] love to play the final.”
Striker Matthias Verreth, who grabbed a brace and substitute Leandro Fernandes, who scored an exquisite winning goal, were also present alongside their coach during the post-match press conference.
“I feel great as the two goals are important for the team,” Verreth said.
“It feels amazing as it [the goal] gave me a boost for the final [and] hopefully I will play in the final,” midfielder Fernandes added.
The German outfit’s coach Abdessamad El Messaoudi did not disagree with his opposite number’s assessment of the match as he felt his side did not do enough to earn the victory.
“We lost to a better team that has tactical discipline and they are also technically better than us,” he admitted.
“We did not have problems only with their no. 9 [Verreth] and no. 10 [Jaell Hattu], but also with their midfield.”
Frankfurt midfielder Ahmed Diack echoed his coach sentiments.
“Our players had too much respect for PSV,” he claimed.
“Our midfield was out of control and at any time, they had more players in midfield than us.
“It was difficult for our players to stop them.”
Frankfurt will slog it out in the 3rd/4th-placing match against Arsenal on June 16 while PSV will face Corinthians in the final on the same day.