Feyenoord suffered a 3-2 defeat at NAC Breda in the first game of the playoff semi-final Saturday night. The home side raced into a two-goal lead early in the second half through goals by Rob Penders and Donny Gorter, but a Roy Makaay penalty got Feyenoord back in it. Matthew Amoah restored his side’s two-strike advantage before Jon Dahl Tomasson got another one back for the Rotterdammers from the spot. Feyenoord were unable to find an equaliser, however, and now have to win on Thursday to avoid playoff elimination at the first hurdle.

Feyenoord looked to attack from the kick-off and the opening stages were played exclusively in the home side’s half. It led to the first chance for the visitors within three minutes. André Bahia was given the space to connect with a Giovanni van Bronckhorst free kick at the far post, but the Brazilian was unable to get the requisite power or direction into his effort.

As the half wore on NAC started to apply more pressure. The hosts were playing with plenty of aggression, which gave them the edge on a number of occasions.

Anthony Lurling, Donny Gorter and Matthew Amoah all tried their luck from distance, but Henk Timmer’s goal only really came under threat when Gorter took a free kick midway through the first half. The young midfielder’s effort beat the Feyenoord keeper but the ball hit the post to deny the hosts the lead.

NAC went mighty close again within a few minutes. Kees Kwakman got his head to a Joonas Kolkka corner, but the ball went over via the top of the bar.

Feyenoord could have been ahead by then, but Diego Biseswar played the ball too far in front of himself when he only had Ten Rouwelaar to beat. Roy Makaay, who played a wonderful ball after intercepting in his own half, had sent the speedy striker on a chase.

Biseswar drew more attention to himself before the half was up, knocking over referee Roelof Luinge chasing the second ball from a corner. Luinge was unhurt.

After getting to half time on level terms, though, Feyenoord found themselves in all sorts of bother within fifteen minutes of the restart. The home side were not that dominant, but they certainly had their finishing boots on, creating two chances and netting both.

Gorter set up the first from a free kick on 56 minutes, before scoring the second from the penalty spot five minutes later.

Patrick Zwaanswijk met Gorter’s dead ball at the far post, nodding it back into the danger zone, where an incoming Rob Penders shot past Timmer from no more than a few metres out. The penalty that followed was awarded against Kelvin Leerdam for handball. Suddenly Feyenoord were staring defeat in the face.

The visitors were put off their stride for a while, but got back in to the game on 70 minutes. Makaay crossed from the left, only for the ball to hit Penders’s arm rather unfortunately. After Leerdam’s handball, Luinge was in the mood to give another penalty. Makaay converted to make it 2-1.

NAC decided the best policy was to defend their lead, allowing Feyenoord to make the running while keeping an eye out for counter opportunities. The Rotterdammers initially made good use of the ball, creating chances for Michael Mols and Jon Dahl Tomasson, but neither had the appropriate finish.

The home side got just what they were hoping for when Amoah picked the ball up in front of Tim de Cler, who failed in his attempt to intercept. The Ghanaian played in Lurling in, who crossed to give Amoah the opportunity to head in his side’s third of the evening.

Feyenoord showed the resilience to hit back, though. It resulted in a good chance for Tomasson, who was dragged to the sod by Van der Leegte. Luinge could do little but point to the spot. Tomasson stroked the penalty into the net himself.

The visitors continued to press as the clock ticked down, but were able to create just one threatening moment – featuring Georginio Wijnaldum – before Luinge blew time.

NAC Breda – Feyenoord 3-2
56’ 1-0 Penders
60’ 2-0 Gorter (pen)
70’ 2-1 Makaay (pen)
83’ 3-1 Amoah
87’ 3-2 Tomasson (pen)

Referee: Luinge
Bookings: Van der Leegte, Lurling, Biseswar
Sending off: Van der Leegte (two bookings)

NAC Breda: Ten Rouwelaar; Loran, Zwaanswijk, Penders, Mtiliga; Gorter, Van der Leegte, Kwakman (82’ Gilissen); Kolkka, Amoah (90’ Reuser) and Lurling (90’ Hofstede).
Feyenoord: Timmer; Leerdam, Landzaat (73’ Mols), Bahia, De Cler; El Ahmadi (78’ Fer), Tomasson, Van Bronckhorst; Wijnaldum, Makaay and Biseswar (61’ Slory).

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