The game was untidy yet attractive straight from the kick off. Both sides were obliged to rely on grit and determination as there was little in the way of fine passing from either. The result was nevertheless highly watchable.
Feyenoord had good chances to take the lead in the opening stages. The game was barely a minute old before Roy Makaay tried his luck from around 18 metres out, after a defender blocked Jon Dahl Tomasson’s initial effort. Unfortunately, Makaay’s attempt went wide. Not long after, Andwélé Slory saw his shot dropped by keeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar, but Patrick Zwaanswijk cleaned up after his sloppy team-mate.
As the half wore on NAC had the better of the game, thanks to the speed and agility of forwards Anthony Lurling, Joonas Kolkka and Nourdin Boukhari. It did not immediately lead to any clear-cut chances for the hosts, but the Feyenoord defence was forced to give away regular free kicks and corners, and just before the break a penalty.
Kelvin Leerdam, who came on for the injured Kevin Hofland around the half-hour mark, brought down Boukhari in the box with the slightest of touches and Donny Gorter stepped up to convert the spot kick.
By then NAC had already spurned two wonderful opportunities to edge ahead. Rob van Dijk slapped away a Boukhari header from just under the bar, while Rob Penders headed just wide from a corner. Feyenoord did little in reply, save a counter attack by Slory just ahead of the break, which Ten Rouwelaar foiled, and an unsuccessful cross by Tomasson.
Feyenoord improved in the second half, though, and got their reward five minutes in. Leroy Fer and Georginio Wijnaldum were at the thick of things, combining well to reach the NAC penalty area where Wijnaldum whipped in a wicked drive that left Ten Rouwelaar with no chance at the near post. Feyenoord were level.
The move was actually one of the few exciting moments in a laboured second half. Neither side were able to create much in the way of clear-cut opportunities as the game settled down in to a battle for midfield supremacy. Wijnaldum was the visitors’ most dangerous man in the early part of the half. On the half mark he was inches away from guiding his header under the bar from a Giovanni van Bronckhorst cross. Later, with barely ten minutes left he blazed a shot into the crowd despite being in a promising position.
In the end, though, Feyenoord managed to steal all the points. With eight minutes still on the clock debutant Jordao Pattinama played a fine ball into Tomasson on the edge of the box. The Dane’s hard, low shot beat Ten Rouwelaar down in the corner.
Feyenoord did have to survive a late effort by Lurling in time added on, but the former Feyenoorder shot wide the Rotterdammers claimed the three points
NAC Breda – Feyenoord 1-2
42’ 1-0 Gorter (pen.)
50’ 1-1 Wijnaldum
82’ 1-2 Tomasson
Bookings: Leerdam, Pattinama, Tomasson, Penders, Van der Leegte, Loran
NAC Breda: Ten Rouwelaar; Loran, Zwaanswijk, Penders, Mtiliga; Gorter (58’ Van der Leegte), Kwakman (84’ Cairo), Fehér; Lurling, Boukhari (67’ Amoah) and Kolkka.
Feyenoord: Van Dijk; Lucius, Bahia, Hofland (29’ Leerdam), Van Bronckhorst; El Ahmadi, Tomasson, Fer; Wijnaldum, Makaay and Slory (76’ Pattinama).