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Ricardo Pepi registers assist in first UCL group stage start

Ricardo Pepi registers assist in first UCL group stage start

PSV’s early qualification into the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 allowed American forward Ricardo Pepi to earn his first start of the competition on Tuesday night.

Pepi assisted once in PSV’s 1-1 comeback draw with Arsenal at the Philips Stadion. The U.S. men’s national team forward started and played 90 minutes as PSV finished second behind the Gunners in Group B.

Fellow U.S. men’s national team players Malik Tillman and Sergino Dest also featured in the contest. Tillman started and played 83 minutes while Dest came off the bench to play the final 16 minutes for the Eredivisie club.

After Eddie Nketiah propelled the Gunners ahead 1-0 before halftime, PSV fought back early in the second half.

Tillman played Pepi up field on a counter attack, allowing the 20-year-old to set himself in the box. Pepi had the opportunity to make it 1-1, but instead teed up Yorbe Vertessen for a clinical finish in the box.

It marked Pepi’s second-straight match with a goal involvement in all competitions.


Neither team was able to find a winning goal, but instead ended their group stage schedules on an unbeaten note.

“It was almost scary how good he was,” Bosz said about Tillman after the game. “I really enjoyed that sitting on the bench. I really thought he played great and that’s nice to see.

PSV has not suffered defeat since Sept. 20 across all competitions and remain undefeated in Eredivisie play. Up next for the Dutch giants is a trip to AZ Alkmaar on Dec. 17 before hosting FC Twente in KNVB Cup action to close their 2023 schedule.

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