Feyenoord break hoodoo in Groningen
Two goals from Tonny Vilhena and Nicolai Jørgensen were enough to secure Feyenoord all three points at FC Groningen on Saturday night. The visitors were the dominant side throughout the match in terms of both possession and territory, and two strikes in the opening 15 minutes of the second half won them the game.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side deserved to lead going into the break, but that was not to be. In wintery conditions in the north of the country, Feyenoord had proceedings under control and the hosts were restricted to a single chance in the opening 45. Tom van Weert’s fifth-minute shot was saved by Brad Jones.
At the other end, the visitors created a number of good opportunities of their own to reflect their dominance. Renato Tapia saw his header cleared off the line, Tonny Vilhena threatened with a shot after a great build-up, then Sam Larsson drove just wide from Nicolai Jørgensen’s pass.
Jørgensen also had a good shout for the penalty after he seemed to be pulled down in the box by Samir Memisevic, but referee Danny Makkelie was not minded to point to the spot.
The breakthrough came not long after the turnaround. A fast break gave Feyenoord the advantage. The ball came to Steven Berghuis, whose effort was kept out, but Tonny Vilhena was on hand to pounce on the rebound.
Feyenoord’s second ten minutes later also involved Berghuis ink a starring role. He played it into Jørgensen, who measured his chip to perfection to score his fourth Eredivisie goal of the season.
By that time Miquel Nelom had reacted well to neutralise a promising home attack. The left back had entered proceedings after 20 minuets in place of Ridgeciano Haps, who suffered an injury when scrambling back to eliminate the danger as Groningen countered. He left the field on a stretcher. The change did not affect the visitors’ defensive resolve, though, which did not let up even after Feyenoord had built up a two-goal cushion.
Feyenoord showed both composure and concentration to the end and when the hosts did find a tiny gap they managed no more than to test the strength of the bar. Feyenoord created a couple of chances of their own to extend the lead, but the third goal remained elusive. That did not detract from the visitors’ performance and in the end the most important stat was that Feyenoord had their first Eredivisie win since 1 October.