PSV end Hercules fairytale to win cup
PSV Eindhoven won the KNVB Beker by ending Heracles Almelo's fairytale run in the competition with a comfortable victory this evening. Ola Toivonen opened the scoring in the 31st minute and Dries Mertens and Jeremain Lens added further goals after the break for the overwhelming favourites, who never looked like succumbing to an upset.
Eredivisie strugglers Heracles had stunned title hopefuls AZ Alkmaar in the semi-finals, but they were second best from start to finish at De Kuip as a first ever cup success eluded them. On paper this was a mis-match, PSV former European and 21-times league champions against opponents whose last top-flight title came in 1941. And so it proved as PSV dominated from the first whistle.
Lens fired wide of the left post from inside the area early on as PSV peppered the Heracles goal with shots, goalkeeper Remko Pasveer having to be alert. Toivonen put them in front just after the half-hour mark as Zakaria Labyad picked him out unmarked in the area and, as defenders tried to close him down, the Sweden striker slide the ball into the net.
Georginio Wijnaldum should have doubled the lead early in the second half, but shot over from close range after good build-up play involving Lens and Toivonen. The miss did not prove costly, though, as the second goal arrived in the 56th minute.
Mertens raced on to a long ball over the top from Erik Pieters as Pasveer charged off his line to try and get there first. The two players went for the ball with their heads on the edge of the area, Mertens getting to it first and, as the pair clashed heads, the ball dropped into the goal.
Pasveer required stitches following the collision, but was able to continue and he saved to prevent Mertens getting another three minutes later. But Lens sewed up victory in the 63rd minute, racing down the right before cutting inside and chipping Pasveer as he came out to close him down.
Everton almost pulled one back for Heracles with an acrobatic effort, but it was excellently saved by Przemyslaw Tyton as PSV won the cup with plenty to spare.