It was unclear up to 45 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time whether the game would be able to go ahead. Large parts of the artificial turf at the Polman Stadium were waterlogged after heavy rainfall.
After consulting with experts who had inspected the pitch referee Pieter Vink decided that the game could go ahead. It was a reward for the people who had worked hard to clear the standing water.
The uncertainty did not help Feyenoord’s pre-match preparations, but the Rotterdammers made a good impression early on.
Feyenoord have shown difficulty capping attractive play with goals this season, but that was not the case in Almelo.
Sekou Cissé started the move on the right, giving Daryl Janmaat the chance to get into a threatening position. After a quick one-two with Ruben Schaken the right back slide the ball past keeper Remko Pasveer with his left foot, registering his first goal in a Feyenoord shirt.
The scenario played out again at the end of the first half. This time it was the turn of Lex Immers to claim his first Feyenoord goal. The midfielder found Schaken, who not for the first time took advantage of the space behind the home defence. Schaken beat his man before laying the ball off to Immers, who was able to net from close range.
Feyenoord were cruising at that moment, although they might have been expected to turn their dominance into more goals. The home team were sluggish and slipshod, which provoked derision among the home fans on more than one occasion.
Ronald Koeman’s side went in at the break two goals to the good, but it should really have been more. Cissé missed a penalty in the last minute of the half. The Ivorian had been hauled down in the box by keeper Pasveer.
Feyenoord paid for their sloppiness within seven minutes of the restart, when Lerin Duarte grabbed a goal back from a free kick. Suddenly the home side were within a goal of Feyenoord, who allowed themselves to be pushed further and further back towards their own goal.
By then the visitors were but a shadow of their first-half selves. Now it was Feyenoord’s turn to be slovenly, which created unnecessary problems for Ronald Koeman’s men.
The hosts piled on the pressure and came close on a couple of occasions. But some fine saves from keeper Erwin Mulder kept the slender lead intact.
Ultimately, as the home defenders pushed forward space was inevitably created behind them. It generated two big opportunities for substitutes Harmeet Singh and Guyon Fernandez, but neither was able to convert them.
Heracles Almelo - Feyenoord 1-2
4' 0-1 Janmaat
44' 0-2 Immers
52' 1-2 Duarte
Yellow: Davidson (Heracles Almelo), Vormer, Mulder, Clasie (Feyenoord)
Heracles Almelo: Pasveer; Koenders (37' Bruns), Rienstra, Davidson, Paljic (46' Te Wierik); Quansah, Overtoom (86' Castillion), Duarte; Pedro, Armenteros, Everton.
Feyenoord: Mulder; Janmaat, Martins Indi, Kongolo, Nelom; Leerdam, Clasie, Vormer (79' Singh), Immers; Schaken (68' Fernandez), Cissé.