Koeman texted his congratulations and gratitude to Marco van Basten the day before the game, after his former teammate has masterminded sc Heerenveen’s defeat of PSV on Saturday night.
If anything, the result upped the pressure on his Feyenoord team, who found themselves within a win of the Eredivisie leaders. With that in mind, Koeman will have reminded his side of the need for composure early on, not least because Roda JC had netted in the first minute in each of their previous four matches.
That was clearly reflected in the way Feyenoord started their day’s work. With Bruno Martins Indi back in the team after recovering from a thigh strain, the visitors, ran the game from the off, holding sway throughout the first 45 minutes. Feyenoord’s superior was such that Roda JC did not create a single chance of note in the first half.
Feyenoord initially found it tough to sculpt opportunities of their own at the other end, failing to put the home defence under serious pressure. The game was 30 minutes old before the visitors found the key to the lock. After some patient build-up play, the ball was fed to Ruben Schaken. The hosts had been warned a few minutes earlier when winger had shot across goal. This time Schaken chose to cross to Graziano Pellè, who headed in from close range.
It meant that Feyenoord went in at the break with a deserved lead, but the tables were turned in the second half, as Roda JC came back into the game stroingly. The hosts were suddenly more aggressive and forward thinking, driving Feyenoord back towards their own goal.
The breakthrough almost came early in the half. The home crowd claimed a spot kick when Sanharib Malki went down in the box but referee Pieter Vink let play go on.
Roda JC continued to push forward and Feyenoord did not appear to know which way to go, caught in two minds between defending the lead by parking the bus or trying to kill off the home challenge with a second strike.
As a consequence, Feyenoord countered sporadically, but found it hard to retain possession for long. It resulted in a nerve-racking final few minutes, in which Feyenoord had to fight for their lives at times. The pressure seemed to be getting to the team on occasions, but Feyenoord ultimately managed to defend their lead and come away from Kerkrade with all the points. Roda JC Kerkrade – Feyenoord 0-1
30’ 0-1 Pellè Referee:
Verhoek (Feyenoord), Malki, Donald (Roda JC Kerkrade) Teams
Roda JC Kerkrade:
Kurto; Monteyne, Biemans (83’ Lebedynski), Danilo, Tamata; Donald, Delorge (79’ Sutchuin), Bonevacia, Fledderus; Malki, Demouge. Feyenoord:
Mulder; Janmaat, De Vrij, Mathijsen, Martins Indi; Clasie, Immers, Vilhena; Schaken (88’ Vormer), Pellè, Boëtius (77’ Verhoek).