Ricardo Pepi scores first PSV goal in UCL qualifying victory
Dutch giants PSV took another major step towards advancing into the UEFA Champions League group stage and Ricardo Pepi played a key part in Tuesday’s success.
PSV advanced past Austrian side Sturm Graz 6-2 on aggregate after Tuesday’s 3-1 second leg victory at the Merkur Arena. Pepi came off the bench and scored his first competitive goal for the club since his summer transfer from Augsburg.
It also marked Pepi’s first goal in the competition.
William Beving propelled Sturm Graz in front 1-0 after 26 minutes before Joey Veerman and Luuk de Jong helped PSV fight back and take a 2-1 lead. Veerman’s equalizer came in the 32nd minute before de Jong boosted the visitors in front just seven minutes later.
Pepi came off the bench at halftime and added his name to the scoresheet in the 85th minute. Gregory Wuthrich’s hand ball in the box allowed the U.S. men’s national team forward to step up and blast home the final goal of the match.
The 20-year-old finished the match with one penalty kick goal, one duel won, two recoveries made, and eight passes completed.
PSV will next face Scottish Premiership giants Rangers in the final round of UCL qualifying which will take place over the next two weeks. In addition to its European schedule, PSV will visit Vitesse Arnhem in Eredivisie play on August 19 before hosting Go Ahead Eagles on Aug. 26.