[QODLink]
Football

Milan have slight edge after playoff

PSV Eindhoven claw back goal against AC Milan in Champions League playoff but Italians have advantage of an away goal.

Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 22:06
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
All to play for in Italy: Stephan El Shaarawy (L) celebrates scoring opening and only goal for Milan [GETTY]

AC Milan clung on for a 1-1 draw away to an enterprising young PSV Eindhoven side in a pulsating Champions League playoff first leg on Tuesday with a lucrative group stage spot at stake.

The hosts, whose team had an average age of just over 22, gave the seven-times European champions a torrid time especially in the first half and were left to rue several missed chances.

Stephan El Shaarawy gave Milan a 15th minute lead against the run of play but Tim Matavz replied for PSV on the hour.

Milan, playing their first competitive match this season and one of the most important, were quickly in trouble as PSV's Adam Maher nearly diverted a Matavz shot into the net and goalkeeper Christian Abbiati turned away Georginio Wijnaldum's low shot. 

But with their first real attack Milan went ahead when Ignazio Abate got the better of a tussle with Memphis Depay and crossed for forward El Shaarawy to head in.

Striker Mario Balotelli hit the crossbar for Milan in the next attack before the visitors were again forced on to the back foot by PSV's incisive, attacking play.

Maher had a superb volley parried by Abbiati and struck the crossbar after a mistake by Abate as the hosts swept forward.

Milan started the second half brightly, with Balotelli setting up two openings which El Shaarawy failed to convert, before PSV, who have won all five previous matches this season including their three domestic league games, levelled.

Abbiati was unable to hold Jeffrey Bruma's vicious long-range drive and Matavz headed in the rebound.

PSV then missed a glorious chance to win the game as 18-year-old defender Karim Rekik headed wide from an unmarked position six metres from goal, leaving Milan with a slight advantage for next week's return at San Siro.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Real Sociedad, Zenit St Petersburg, Kazakh side Shakhtyor IK and Czech club Plzen.

Champions League play-off round results:

FC Pacos de Ferreira (Portugal) - Zenit St Petersburg (Russia) 1-4 (halftime: 0-1)
Olympique Lyon (France) - Real Sociedad (Spain) 0-2 (halftime: 0-1)
PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) - AC Milan (Italy) 1-1 (halftime: 0-1)
Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic) - Maribor (Slovenia) 3-1 (halftime: 1-0)
Shakhtyor IK (Kazakhstan) - Celtic (Scotland) 2-0 (halftime: 1-0)

366

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list