Although the Feyenoord players should have taken confidence from their performances over the two legs against Dynamo Kyiv, the visitors didn’t look entirely at ease in the opening exchanges. Coach Ronald Koeman’s team were having difficulty finding each other in possession. As a result, Feyenoord scarcely created a single chance before the break.
There was plenty of room on the right flank at Galgenwaard Stadium, but the Rotterdammers were unable to exploit it fully. Sloppy passing especially early on gave the hosts plenty of opportunities to threaten on the break.
The visitors looked fairly tight at the back, but former Feyenoord
man Nana Asare did cause some problems in the first half an hour. The midfielder was allowed three attempts at Erwin Mulder’s goal; happily his aim was somewhat wanting.
The visitors were a lot more effective at the other end. Sekou Cissé spurned a nailed-on chance just past the thirty-minute mark, completely misjudging an incoming ball he looked certain to head in, but he made up for it ten minutes later.
Cissé managed to get in between a number of home defenders to get his forehead against the Ruben Schaken’s cross and redirect the ball past keeper Robbin Ruiter and into the net.
The Ivorian was not the only danger man in a blue shirt, though Feyenoord did not create too many chances all told. Earlier in the half Lex Immers found himself with just the keeper to beat, only to come out second best.
The visitors continued to put in a shift after the break too, but chances remained hard to come by. There was a big one for Immers not long after the restart, though. The midfielder latched onto a poorly weighted back pass and moved in for the kill, but his shot lacked power and a home defender was able to get back and clear before the ball crossed the line.
As a result, FC Utrecht knew that one well-executed attack could bring an equaliser. The chance ultimately fell to Jacob Mulenga, but Mulder parried his shot and the danger dissipated.
At the other end
Schaken went through on goal in the last minute, but the keeper won that battle too. FC Utrecht - Feyenoord 0-1
39' 0-1 Cissé Referee
: Van Boekel
: De Vrij, Janmaat (Feyenoord), Bulthuis (FC Utrecht) Teams
: FC Utrecht
: Ruiter; Bovenberg (61' Van der Maarel), Van der Hoorn (82' De
Kogel), Wuytens, Bulthuis; Martensson (58' Van der Gun), Duplan, Asare,
Sarota; Mulenga, Gerndt Feyenoord
: Mulder; Janmaat, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Nelom; Vormer (75'
Leerdam), Immers, Clasie; Schaken, Fernandez (88' Singh), Cissé