Watching the opening minutes of the tie Ronald Koeman will no doubt have thought back to what he had said the day before the game. The coach had promised that his side would not underestimate their amateur opponents but hoped for some early goals to avoid any anxiety as the game wore on.
In fact, Feyenoord were lucky not to be two down in a matter of minutes. A player in blue and white stripes twice bore down on Kostas Lamprou’s goal, but happily the Greek was up to the challenge both times.
Feyenoord responded well to the double let-off. Graziano Pellè had an important role in that, showing strength and determination to hold up the ball whenever it came up to him, which enabled the visitors to get a big foothold in the game.
It almost led to Feyenoord taking the lead, when Pellè turned away from his opponent on the edge of the box and hammered in a shot on the volley. It was almost a replica of his outstanding strike against Ajax at the weekend, but this time the Italian didn’t quite manage to keep his shot down and the ball hit the top of the bar on its way over.
Pellè was clearly Feyenoord’s best bet but the Italian was unable to threaten the home goal anymore in the first period. Even so, his side should have led at the break. John Goossens found the head of a teammate not once but twice with an inch-perfect delivery from a corner, but former Feyenoord keeper Jesper Hogedoorn protected his clean sheet on both occasions.
The goalless situation at the break prompted Koeman to make a double substitution, bringing on Lex Immers and Terence Kongolo for Harmeet Singh and Stefan de Vrij.
De Vrij almost made an instant impression, rising unmarked to head a dangerous Goossens corner goalwards.
Kongolo was also thwarted by Hogedoorn, but the keeper was beaten hands down not long after by a teammate. John Goossens broken down the left and fired in a low cross that Anthony Bentem could only redirect into his own net.
It was a big slice of fortune for Feyenoord, who accepted it with open arms. The tie was all but over as a contest within 12 minutes. Kongolo doubled Feyenoord’s lead with a fine header, before Ruud Vormer made it three. The midfielder capped some fine individual play by rounding keeper Hogedoorn to score his first competitive goal for the club.
In the last five minutes Ruben Schaken earned a penalty, which was coolly converted by Lex Immers to confirm Feyenoord’s place in the draw for the next round.
Xerxes/DZB – Feyenoord 0-4
60’ 0-1 Bentem (own goal)
69’ 0-2 Kongolo
72’ 0-3 Vormer
85’ 0-4 Immers (penalty)
Yellow: Van Wordragen, Dongen, Van Eijken (Xerxes/DZB)
Xerxes/DZB: Hogedoorn; Van Waas, Bentem, Donny Navajas Sanchez, Dongen (81’ Van Eijken); Zechiël (46’ Jardim), Rombouts, Van Wordragen (73’ Lopes Silva); Mike Navajas Sanchez, Koorndijk, Vermeulen.
Feyenoord: Lamprou; Elabdellaoui, De Vrij (46’ Kongolo), Mathijsen, Nelom; Vormer, Singh (46’ Immers), Vilhena; Schaken, Pellè (75’ Achahbar), Goossens.