The PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet has claimed he could not have done more to prevent his side from conceding the goal – given by goal-line technology by the finest of margins – in the 2-1 defeat by Feyenoord that all but ended PSV’s title hopes.
With the score 1-1, Zoet saved a close-range header from the Feyenoord defender Jan-Arie van der Heijden in the 82nd minute, but as he clutched the ball to his chest a screen on the referee Bas Nijhuis’s wrist lit up.
Nijhuis looked down, saw the word “goal” flashing on the screen and awarded the Dutch league leaders the winning goal in a 2-1 victory. The result on Sunday brought Feyenoord within reach of their first league title since 1999 and likely ended the two-times defending champions PSV’s title aspirations.
“This is seriously fucked up,” Zoet told the Dutch broadcaster NOS. “The goal-line technology made the difference and things could have been different if it had not.
“He went only by his watch. If that had not happened, I think he would have said no goal. You should always keep believing in things, but the title is very far away. [It’s] a serious blow.”
He later told PSV TV: “I did everything I could to prevent the ball crossing the line. According to the system, it was one millimetre over the line.”
The Dutch football authorities lauded the decision. “Everybody benefits if football becomes more honest and refereeing decisions are accurate,” the Dutch football association spokesman Bas Ticheler said. “Truth is the winner.”
Protesting PSV players surrounded Nijhuis after he awarded the goal but later accepted the decision and said they should have done more to win a match that was likely the last gasp in a faltering title defence. PSV are now in third place, 11 points behind Feyenoord with 10 matches to play. Ajax are second, five points behind.
Compounding PSV’s misery was the fact that Feyenoord’s De Kuip Stadium is the only Dutch ground with goal-line technology in the second half of the season. Before the winter break, the cameras were at Ajax’s Amsterdam Arena.
There have been other goals awarded by the technology in the Netherlands but none at such a crucial stage in such a high-profile match. “Luckily we have goal-line technology,” Van der Heijden said. “A goal is a goal. Technology doesn’t lie.”
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