NAC do the double on Feyenoord
Feyenoord suffered a disappointing defeat in Breda on Saturday evening. At the Rat Verlegh Stadium, head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side were beaten 2-1 by NAC, who completed the season double against the reigning champions.
Both sides set their stalls out from kick off, with plenty of passion and physicality on show. The hosts almost drew first blood after five minutes. Striker Sadiq Umar collided with Feyenoord keeper Brad Jones and claimed a penalty, but referee Bas Nijhuis waved play on.
The decision did not please the home crowd or NAC head coach Stijn Vreven. The Belgian was sent to the stands after making his thoughts known to the officials. Their tails up, the hosts pushed on, with chances for Arno Verschueren and Umar, but neither was able to convert.
The game settled down somewhat after the opening 15-minute salvo from NAC and Feyenoord got into it more. With captain Eric Botteghin, Renato Tapia (replacing the injured Karim El Ahmadi) and Jens Toornstra all in the starting line-up, the visitors went close through Jean-Paul Boëtius. His impressive looking volley was on target, but keeper Nigel Bertrams got a hand to it.
Bertrams was beaten on 17 minutes though. Feyenoord moved the ball around well, probing for a weakness. It eventually came to Toornstra, who slotted in. It was the midfielder’s first away goal since 7 February 2016.
Lead soon lost
NAC struck back just six minutes later. Jones foiled Umar but the ball rebounded to Thierry Ambrose who swept the ball into the net to equalise. Supported by a full away section of 750 fans, Feyenoord had a great chance to regain the lead before the break. Kevin Diks pulled the trigger inside the box, after a long cross from Toornstra, but Bertrams managed to scramble it over the bar.
The third goal of the evening would fall to the hosts. Referee Nijhuis awarded NAC a penalty three minutes into the second half after Jones and Umar tussled. The keeper was yellow carded for a push and Umar stepped up to net.
No way back
Feyenoord went straight back to work in search of an equaliser. The hosts were forced into defensive mode for the rest of the second half. The pressure led to chances, including two for Diks (header) and Berghuis (shot from outside the box), but the biggest fell to Boëtius. He met a Berghuis cross with his head, but was unable to get his effort on target.
Robin van Persie, Dylan Vente and Bilal Basaçikoglu were all introduced to try to prise open the home defence, but the gambit ultimately failed and Feyenoord went down to their fifth defeat of 2018.