After challenging his side to improve their goals to game ratio the day before the match, coach Koeman named a three-man attack that included Graziano Pellè and Wesley Verhoek for the first time alongside Ruben Schaken. All told, six of the Feyenoord starting line-up were players who had joined the club since the end of last season.
That was clear for all to see in the opening exchanges as the hosts found it difficult to string their passes together. Opponents PEC Zwolle, Eredivisie new boys themselves also seemed a tad overawed by the occasion in a packed De Kuip.
As a result, the first fifteen minutes were not the tidiest. An early goal would have no doubt steadied the home ship, but the new line-up was unable to put the nervous visitors under serious pressure.
The PEC Zwolle goal came under threat for the first time around twenty minutes in and it initiated a ten-minute period of good play in which the home side created a string of chances.
The biggest of those fell to Ruben Schaken, who was twice through on goal on the left with just Wintjens to beat, but the visitor’s keeper came out on top both times. Debutants Pellè and Verhoek also spurned chances as Feyenoord found it hard to live up to their coach’s pre-match clarion call.
After the ten-minute hurricane, the wind went out of the hosts’ sails a little and PEC Zwolle ventured forward themselves. The best opportunity for the out-of-towners came just before the break, a solo effort by midfielder Wiljan Pluim, who created space for himself in front of Kostas Lamprou’s goal only to put his shot wide.
The opening goal came a minute after the restart and it went to Feyenoord, although there was more than a slice of luck involved. PEC Zwolle midfielder Joost Broerse putting through his own goal after a shot from Pellè.
It was the first time Feyenoord had found themselves in front at home this season, but it didn’t have the desired effect. Rather than cutting loose and adding to their lead the home side continued to put in a disjointed performance.
When Feyenoord did double their advantage on 73 minutes it was from the penalty spot. Ruben Schaken was the instigator. The striker broke through the visitors’ defensive lines leaving Gerard Aafjes with little option to bring him down in the box. Lex Immers stepped up to convert the resulting penalty to claim his first goal at De Kuip and secure the three points.
Feyenoord – PEC Zwolle 2-0
46’ 1-0 Broerse (own goal)
73’ 2-0 Immers (penalty)
Yellows: Pellè (Feyenoord), Pluim, Aafjes (PEC Zwolle)
Feyenoord: Lamprou; Janmaat (64’ Leerdam), Martins Indi, Mathijsen, Nelom; Vormer, Immers, Clasie (83’ Vilhena); Verhoek (75’ Cissé), Pellè, Schaken.?
PEC Zwolle: Wintjens, Van Polen, Lachman, Aafjes, Van Hintum; Achenteh, Pluim (76’ Drost), Broerse; Mokhtar (76’ Benson), Avdic, Gravenbeek (63’ Narsingh).