Feyenoord get past FC Groningen in second half
Feyenoord recorded a good 3-0 win against FC Groningen on Thursday evening in the Eredivisie. Head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side scored all the goals in the second half at De Kuip, with Jens Toornstra, Jeremiah St. Juste and Robin van Persie all getting on the score sheet. It was Van Persie’s first goal since returning to Feyenoord, scored just a minute after coming on as a substitute.
The match only really got into gear after the break. Feyenoord made a blistering start to the second half, with a big headed chance for Nicolai Jørgensen from a Steven Berghuis cross within thirty seconds. The Dane’s effort was saved by Sergio Padt, who had already confounded Jens Toornstra twice in the first half.
Toornstra was not to be denied a third time, however. Padt was well beaten on 52 minutes, when the midfielder took Bilal Basaçikoglu’s excellent cross in his stride to volley Feyenoord into the lead.
Basaçikoglu had come on midway through the second half for Sam Larsson, who was forced off with an injury. It was a switch that Giovanni van Bronckhorst had no choice in, after having already made two tactical changes in his starting line-up. Ridgeciano Haps returned to the left-back position for Tyrell Malacia, while Renato Tapia was replaced in central defence by Jan-Arie van der Heijden, who made his first appearance since 23 September 2017.
The Feyenoord defence had little to fear from FC Groningen. The visitors were unable to create anything threatening, although they could have grabbed an unlikely lead after just three minutes. A free kick from Yoell van Nieff hit the bar.
The opener from Toornstra forced Groningen to venture further up field, which created space in behind for Feyenoord to exploit. In the end it was right back Jeremiah St. Juste who benefitted most. The defender had already tried his luck twice with hard shots that cleared the bar, but with 20 minutes left, he latched on to a great pass from Berghuis to slip the ball under Padt.
The most heart-warming moment of the evening was still to come. The fans gave Robin van Persie a rousing reception when he came of the bench on 77 minutes, but they were off their feet again a minute later. The striker was found by Berghuis, controlled the ball and then drove it impressively into the far corner. It was his first Eredivisie goal for 13 years and 358 days, a record for the longest period between two Eredivisie goals. More importantly, the goal confirmed Feyenoord’s victory.