PSV Eindhoven and Ajax have put on a show in the first half of their massive rivalry match, but it's unfortunately suffered from a couple of lengthy stoppages. Two players - one from each team - suffered head injuries as a result of incidental collisions in the first half and took some time to come off the pitch. Aside from that, it's been a fantastic match with the teams scoring a goal apiece to go into halftime tied up at 1-1.
The home side opened the scoring just three minutes in, thanks to a fantastic goal by new signing Tim Matavz in the third minute. Matavz will inevitably become the latest player to go from a lower-tier Eredivisie side to Ajax or PSV for $.60 on the dollar, then get sold to a European giant for $1.50 on the dollar. As if it's some mystery that a player who scores consistently for Groningen and Slovenia for two years is pretty good.
Okay, sorry about the rant. In any event, the goal was scored following a fantastic quick move down PSV's left hand side, featuring some great touches between Matavz and Jermaine Lens. It was an awesome way for the new signing to assert himself, and it's probably the first of many goals for Matavz.
In the 18th minute, Ajax's Nicolai Boilsen was forced off on a stretcher after the first of two incidents in the half involving head injuries. Eyong Enoh was his replacement. The second incident of a similar type occurred between PSV defender Timothy Derijck and goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton, the latter of whom picked up the more serious injury. He was down on the pitch for around 10 minutes before play finally resumed.
Ajax found their equalizer afterwards, thanks to Kolbeinn Sigthorsson. It came out of virtually nothing, but they all count the same. With the ball bouncing around in the PSV half, Sigthorsson picked it up, went through a couple of defenders, and finished smoothly from 12 yards out to give his struggling team a much needed equalizer. After 45 minutes (and a whopping 15 minutes of stoppage time), PSV and Ajax are locked up and looking forward to what should be a great second half.