After a week marked by the contract extensions of Ronald Koeman and Tonny Vilhena, and the successful return to the first-team squad of Erwin Mulder and Sekou Cissé, Feyenoord travelled to Breda full of confidence. That said, there was also a realisation that all that good feeling would count for nothing if Feyenoord failed to collect the three points, as Koeman was only too happy to point out.
With that in mind, the atmosphere in the visitors’ dressing room at the break was less than euphoric. The Rotterdammers had taken an early lead, but the hosts had levelled midway through the half. And the situation deteriorated further when Janmaat was shown two yellows within a minute for a foul on the same player. The referee did the maths and brandished the red card, leaving Feyenoord a man down.
The home side’s first equaliser was as much as they deserved, Luijckx heading in from close range from a corner. That cancelled out Pellè’s early opener – a tap-in after Verhoek’s hard shot had hit a defender.
Feyenoord were unable to drive home their early advantage by taking control and reproducing the strong positional play of recent weeks. The home side managed to push Feyenoord back as the game progressed, so Luijckx’s goal was not much of a surprise.
Koeman’s ten men survived until half time with few problems, but it was clear that holding out for the point would be a big ask. NAC Breda were the better team for most of the first half and the hosts went straight for the jugular when play resumed after the break. First Jordy Buijs smashed one against the bar, then Mats Seuntjens forced a save from Kostas Lamprou.
Yet despite having a man less, Feyenoord managed to play themselves into the game. A couple of counter attacks came to nothing, but with around 15 minutes left a Clasie pass left Pellè with just keeper Ten Rouwelaar to beat. Botteghin had little choice but to haul down the Italian, drawing a second yellow from referee Gözübüyük. Immers stroked in the resulting penalty to give the visitors an unexpected lead.
Feyenoord were unable to hold onto their lead for long though. Within two minutes Gudelj headed in another home corner.
That left the game finely balanced and both sides went for the winner in the final stages, but despite the extra space produced by a combination of red cards and tired legs, neither was able to find it. NAC Breda – Feyenoord 2-2
6’ 0-1 Pellè
23’ 1-1 Luijckx
74’ 1-2 Immers (pen)
76’ 2-2 Gudelj Referee:
Van der Weg (NAC Breda) Red:
Botteghin (2x yellow, NAC Breda), Janmaat (2x yellow, Feyenoord) Teams:
Ten Rouwelaar; Van der Weg (46’ Seuntjens), Botteghin, Luijckx, Looms; Buijs, Gilissen (68’ Schalk) , Gudelj; Hooi (81’ Leugers), Lurling, Verbeek. Feyenoord:
Lamprou; Janmaat, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Nelom; Clasie (79’ Cissé), Immers, Vilhena; Verhoek (33’ Elabdellaoui), Pellè, Schaken.