Feyenoord leave it late in Nijmegen

Feyenoord edged through to the third round of the cup on Wednesday evening with a last-gasp goal against N.E.C. to seal a 2-3 away win. The Rotterdammers fell behind in the first minute of the tie, but levelled just before half time through Terence Kongolo. The visitors then edged in front in the second half thanks to Sekou Cissé only to be pegged back and forced into extra time. But with penalties looming, Lex Immers rattled in the winner in the final minute of the additional 30.

Feyenoord managed to keep their head after a disastrous start at the Goffert Stadium in Nijmegen. The home side won a free kick on the left within seconds of the kick off and wasted little time pumping the ball into the box. Pavel Cmovs was the first to get his head to it, but the ball then hit Kongolo’s head to arc over keepr Lamprou and into the net.

It was an unfortunate turn of events for the Feyenoord defender, who started the game in place of the injured Joris Mathijsen.

Thankfully, Kongolo did not allow his disappointment to get the better of him. The youth international put in a solid performance, for which he was rewarded a few minutes before the break with a goal at the other end, flicking in a Daryl Janmaat effort to give Feyenoord the equaliser they fully deserved.

The goal gave the visitors a big confidence boost going into the break. Ronald Koeman’s side had had most of the ball in the first half against a very defensive-minded home side, but had failed to create much in the way of chances.

That was partly down to some dubious challenges in the box that saw both Ruud Vormer and Kelvin Leerdam floored as they positioned themselves to shoot. Referee Pol van Boekel waved play on both times.

Feyenoord returned for the second half clearly set on imposing themselves. The visitors again hoarded the ball and when the breakthrough came it was certainly warranted. Cissé bundled the ball over the line at the far post after a Ruben Schaken cross opened up the N.E.C. defence just ahead of the hour mark.

N.E.C. coach Alex Pastoor responded immediately by bringing on Leroy George as an extra striker and he saw his gamble pay off almost instantly. The home substitute nodded in a cross from the left from close range to bring the teams level again.

With the tie finally balanced both teams probed in search of a winner, but neither managed to find a way through and the game went into extra time.

The two sides again lacked a real cutting edge in the extra thirty minutes and it looked increasingly as though the tie would be decided in a penalty shootout. But with the home side wilting after two hours of football, Feyenoord managed to find the opening in the final minute of the second period of extra time.

Schaken got his head onto Miquel Nelom’s tasty cross from the left to lay it into the path of Immers, who smashed the ball into the roof of the net. The goal brought the bench to its feet as the substitutes went to celebrate with the players. There was barely time for N.E.C. to kick off before referee Van Boekel blew for time.

N.E.C. – Feyenoord 2-3 (aet)
1’ 1-0 Kongolo (og)
43’ 1-1 Kongolo
59’ 1-2 Cissé
60’ 2-2 George
120’ 2-3 Immers

Referee: Van Boekel
Yellow: Cmovs (N.E.C.)

Babos; Will, Van Eijden, Cmovs, Breuer; Sno, Roorda (59’ George), Koolwijk (80’ Palsson), Foor, Platje, Rieks (109’ Ten Voorde).
Feyenoord: Lamprou; Janmaat, Kongolo, Martins Indi, Nelom; Vormer, Immers, Leerdam; Schaken (99’ Verhoek), Pellè, Cissé (81’ Fernandez).
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