Feyenoord returned to Euroborg Stadium looking to perform better than they did last season, when FC Groningen raced into a three-goal lead in the first quarter of an hour.
This time the Rotterdammers started brightly, looking to win the ball and attack their hosts down the flanks. Those tactics were rewarded within ten minutes of kick off. Sekou Cissé was played in on the left, striking the ball via a deflection off the foot of a defender into the far corner off the post to give the visitors the lead.
The goal should have given Feyenoord the confidence to push on, but Ronald Koeman saw his side suffer a series of setbacks instead. Cissé turned out to be unable to continue due to an injury he picked up when scoring the goal. As his replacement Wesley Verhoek hurried onto the field of play Leandro Bacuna rattled in an equaliser direct from a free kick.
Feyenoord were still adjusting to the loss of Cissé and their early lead when the next setback presented itself. The game was not quite a half hour old when Terence Kongolo received his second yellow card of the afternoon. The defender was penalised for holding onto Género Zeefuik, despite the home striker being in an offside position at the time.
Koeman responded with instructions from the sidelines for his side to play more compactly. The strategy meant that Feyenoord surrendered most of the possession although for a long time it looked as though the sides would go in at the break on level terms.
But another slice of bad luck did for the visitors just before the half time whistle. As the clock ticked down Maikel Kieftenbeld decided he could do worse than have a go from distance and he was rewarded as the ball swerved in the air, leaving Kostas Lamprou well beaten.
The half-time break gave Feyenoord the chance to regroup, in the knowledge that they would have to find an equaliser in the second forty-five despite having a man less.
The hosts looked the more menacing of the sides as the half advanced, though, and both Michael de Leeuw and Maikel Kieftenbeld failed to take opportunities to double their lead.
Feyenoord were finding it tough to create any threat in the home box, but with just one goal in it they always retained a slim hope of salvaging something.
And so they did, although they left it till the last minute, or more correctly even later. The game was two minutes into time added on when Bruno Martins Indi got his foot to a high ball just outside the penalty area, striking it sweetly into the right-hand corner of the Groningen net. |
The defender showed his joy by making straight for Koeman on the sidelines, followed by the rest of the team.
FC Groningen – Feyenoord 2-2
10’ 0-1 Cissé
14’ 1-1 Bacuna
45+2’ 2-1 Kieftenbeld
90’ 2-2 Martins Indi
Yellow: Kieftenbeld (FC Groningen), Kongolo, Immers, Janmaat (Feyenoord)
Red: Kongolo (Feyenoord)
FC Groningen: Da Silva; Bacuna, Van Dijk, Kwakman, Kappelhof; Sparv, De Leeuw, Kieftenbeld; Schet (88’ Van Moorsel), Zeefuik (61’ Texeira), Kirm.
Feyenoord: Lamprou; Janmaat, Kongolo, Martins Indi, Nelom; Leerdam, Immers, Clasie (70’ Vilhena); Schaken (89’ Achahbar), Pellè, Cissé (13’ Verhoek).