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Copy from Football Unlimited of 01/03/2002.
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink has one of the biggest names in European football and it is a very hard one for Leeds United to swallow this morning. With the prospect of extra- time and penalties coming ever closer last night, the PSV Eindhoven centre-forward leapt bravely at a Theo Lucius shot that had come back off the crossbar to force the ball across the line. There were 51 seconds left. So Leeds joined Rangers and it is the Battle of Holland not Britain which awaits the Uefa Cup quarter-finals.
This was a slow burner of a contest, one in which PSV got gradually stronger and Leeds weaker, but David O'Leary saw another of his much-mentioned candles blown out by Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Last night began in similar fashion to the first leg last week - goalless again, yet open and highly entertaining. As in Holland, too, the PSV right-winger Dennis Rommedahl started at a sprint, the Dutch still fancying his chances in a race against Ian Harte.
Copy from Yorkshire Evening Post of 01/03/2002.
IF Leeds United were a prize fighter in a boxing bout then the referee would surely have stepped in by now.
Yet another massive body blow last night left David O'Leary's battered and bruised Whites swaying helplessly on the ropes looking in vain for something to turn their torrid campaign around.
With their dreams of silverware glory this season shattered by punch after brutal punch, it seems now that only a late bid for Champions League qualification can save the season from total catastrophe.
In true Leeds style they have once again failed in the cruelest manner possible. But it is essential they now pull themselves up to ensure they can at least end this term with European football assured for next time around.
A last-minute bundled header from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was typical of a season which has already handed so many vicious twists and turns United's way.
Whether on the field or off it, they have endured a torrid campaign in so many ways. Even O'Leary's mother has taken to lighting candles in her home-town church, pleading with God to shine some good fortune her son's way. On last night's showing it could be suggested that she light a few more.
Leeds had enough chances to have killed off a PSV side which, as in Holland a week ago, had seemed out of sorts and out of form for large periods of the game.
Indeed Leeds could and should have gone into this second leg with a goal or three in the bag after shunning a host of chances in Eindhoven.
The fact that they failed to find the finishing touch in either leg was the sole reason they will not be entering a quarter-final tie with Feyenord.
Almost everything else about United's performances was spot on. They defended well again last night, with Rio Ferdinand and Dominic Matteo outstanding, and the midfield and forwards linked well to push the visitors onto the back foot for almost the entire first half.
O'Leary had pushed Lee Bowyer into a central midfield role in the absence of the injured Olivier Dacourt, leaving the more defensively-minded David Batty on the bench and playing Gary Kelly on the right for added width.
The United boss knew his team needed to score if they were going to go through - and they should have done in a rampant opening 45 minutes.
Eirik Bakke fired a second-minute volley just past the post and shot over the bar minutes later.
Bowyer then fed a delightful reverse pass into the feet of Mark Viduka only for PSV keeper Patrick Lodewijks to make a great save at the Aussie's feet.
Even the United fans, so subdued in recent home matches, were cheering their side on as they sensed a return to the atmospheric celebration nights of last year's Champions League run. But as the chances came and went the niggly seeds of doubt started to grow.
Harry Kewell had a storming first half but will look back on possibly his best 45 minutes of the season with anguish as he wasted the best chance of all.
After seeing one effort curl just around the post he found himself with an open goal at his mercy following great work from Viduka - however Kewell snapped at the chance, blazing it into the disbelieving Kop.
Bowyer saw a shot fly wide after more good work from Viduka, while Kewell again went close when heading over from a deep Kelly cross as United continued to misfire.
All PSV could muster was a header from Andre Ooijer, which fell just wide of Nigel Martyn's goal, and a low strike from Theo Lucius which also missed the target.
Those efforts were hugely against the run of play however as Lodewijks made two more great saves before the break, first diving at the feet of Alan Smith and then arching back to tip a fierce Bakke strike over the bar.
Even at the start of the second half United created chances, Matteo hooking an Ian Harte corner into the arms of Lodewijks and the keeper then diving across to palm away a Bowyer header.
But then it seemed, not for the first time this season, that United ran out of steam and PSV stepped up a gear to take control of the tie.
Suddenly the Dutch had the space to cause problems. The closing down from United was non-existent and PSV took full advantage.
Martyn pulled off his first save of the match on the hour as a wonderful move instigated by Mark van Bommel ended with Mateji Kezman firing across goal and the Leeds keeper having to palm it away low to his right.
Some desperate defending was also required as Ferdinand made a stunning block to deny the bizarrely-named Vennegoor of Hesselink a clear shooting opportunity.
The big striker with the equally big name was causing problems and should have scored in the 75th minute when he managed to get past Matteo but slid his shot wide, and when van Bommel rounded Martyn it required another wonderful challenge from Ferdinand to deny the Dutch.
It was tense stuff but when Harte made a brilliant late tackle on Lucius as he threatened to break through it seemed as though United had weathered the storm and could at least regroup before extra-time.
However, as has been the way of things at Elland Road this season they were hit with a cruel killer blow.
With only 61 seconds remaining on the clock Lucius got in behind the Leeds defence, his looping shot from just inside the penalty box bounced limply back off the crossbar and Vennegoor of Hesselink was fastest to react, diving in to bundle the ball over the line from all of two yards.
Cruel? Without a doubt, but it is now more important than ever that nobody at Elland Road starts throwing in the towel just yet.