Feyenoord fall to early strike
Feyenoord suffered their second defeat of the season on Sunday afternoon, going down 1-0 at Sparta Rotterdam. Mathias Pogba grabbed the goal that proved to be the winner after just forty seconds, but Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side could not respond.
The early goal left Feyenoord chasing the game against their north Rotterdam neighbours. It was scored by Mathias Pogba, who outjumped Jan-Arie van der Heijden and Terence Kongolo to head past Brad Jones.
It was the worst possible start for the visitors, as Sparta were able to revert to a defensive game plan. The fact that Feyenoord were well off the heights they had reached a week earlier against PSV did not help their cause. The tempo was too low to break down a compact-playing Sparta.
Tonny Vilhena and Steven Berghuis were the only players to try their luck for the visitors before the break, but even then home keeper Roy Kortsmit was untroubled. Upfront Nicolai Jørgensen made little impression, not least because wingers Eljero Elia and Steven Berghuis rarely got past their man.
And the task did not get any easier when Terence Kongolo was forced off with an injury after half an hour. He was replaced by Miquel Nelom.
Van Bronckhorst’s second substitution was also forced upon him. Elia, clearly not at his fittest, was replaced by Bilal Basaçikogl early in the second half, but the switch did not have the desired effect. Only when Dirk Kuyt was introduced for Berghuis did Feyenoord start to put Sparta under pressure. Basaçikoglu spurned a big chance, shooting over, not long after Jens Toornstra had a shot tipped over by Kortsmit.
The visitors ramped up the pressure as the encounter entered the final stages, but they did not have luck on their side. Feyenoord had a big shout for an equaliser when a Sparta defender appeared to clear the ball after it had crossed the line. Unfortunately no goal line technology was available to review the incident so Sparta’s lead remained intact.
Jørgensen then saw an effort saved in time added on as the hosts held on for a big result for both sides.