Toornstra double secures three points against Groningen
Feyenoord earned another win on Saturday night to keep up the pressure on their Eredivisie rivals. Two goals from Jens Toornstra were enough to beat FC Groningen at De Kuip. The visitors ended the match a man down, after Juninho Bacuna was shown a red card.
Feyenoord have dominated possession at De Kuip this season, but FC Groningen were probably the most defensively minded away team to have been seen in Rotterdam South since August. The visitors got ten men in and around the penalty area whenever Feyenoord looked to play it forward, with only the striker in the centre circle.
Feyenoord had an answer to the visitors’ 5-4-1 system and played the ball around fast, putting the FC Groningen defence under pressure. The visitors’ resistance broke just after the break. Ruben Jenssen failed to take full advantage after the northerners broke with alacrity, but Toornstra showed more composure at the other end not long after. Steven Berghuis, skinned his man before dinking in a delicious cross that Toornstra finished with aplomb.
Berghuis had had two chances of his own to open the scoring by then. His shot from Tonny Vilhena went over and a minute later he waited too long with his shot from the right to pressurise the visitors’ keeper
FC Groningen scarcely troubled the hosts after the break, but Feyenoord were still relived to add a second goal after the hour mark. Toornstra netted again to bring the hosts’ eighth straight Eredivisie win within touching distance.
Jan-Arie van der Heijden made the goal, controlling a long ball in the area before playing Toornstra in. His effort beat the keeper at the far post.
By the time Juninho Bacuna had been shown red for a reckless challenge on Terence Kongolo the points were in the bag. The ten men shut up shop to limit any further damage, which effectively killed the game.Dirk Kuyt came on for Karim El Ahmadi with a quarter of an hour to go, while Kongolo made way for Miquel Nelom five minutes later, but there were to be no further goals.
That was another milestone for the hosts in itself, as Feyenoord earned their fifth clean sheet since the winter break.