Feyenoord would have been a goal to the good when the sides went in for halftime, but for a costly mistake from the man in the middle. Referee Roelof Luinge missed a clear goal by André Bahia on the quarter hour. The defender headed in from a corner but the ball was kicked back out of the goal and Luinge let play continue when he should have awarded a goal.
It was not the referee’s only mistake of the half unfortunately. The game was a half hour old when Luinge failed to spot an obvious handball in the Willem II penalty box. It seemed not to be Feyenoord’s day in the refereeing stakes, as Luinge also managed to award two highly debatable free kicks to the visitors within range of the home goal. Thankfully, nothing came of them.
Poor refereeing was not the only obstacle Feyenoord had to overcome in the first half, however. The Rotterdammers created plenty of chances to take the lead, but they were unable to convert a single one.
Most of the threat posed by Feyenoord came through Giovanni van Bronckhorst. With almost twenty minutes played he set up Diego Biseswar, but the striker shot over. Five minutes before the break, the captain passed deep to Roy Makaay, but Arjan Swinkels managed to get back and avert the danger.
Biseswar went closest to opening the scoring just ahead of the break, when Jens Janse gave away the ball unnecessarily around the halfway line. Biseswar used his speed to race towards the visitors’ goal, but was unable to punish the error. By that time Van Bronckhorst had had two attempts from inside the penalty area, but both shots were blocked.
Willem II scarcely troubled the hosts in the first half, but struck mercilessly early in the second. Defender Janse was not picked up at a corner and had the time to choose his spot with his head. Not long after that Swinkels had the chance to double his team’s lead – again from a corner – but he blazed over.
Despite trailing, Feyenoord created perhaps even better chances in the second half. One of them fell to Van Bronckhorst, who had just the keeper to beat after being played in by Makaay, but the skipper’s effort was too soft. The next opportunity was Georginio Wijnaldum’s. His long-distance drive whizzed over.
As the clock ticked down Feyenoord refused to give up, although they showed little in the way of variation going forward. The game was deep into time added on when a Biseswar dribble put the visitors’ defence under pressure. He played the ball in to substitute Slory, who placed a fine shot right in the bottom corner to salvage a point Feyenoord – Willem II 1-1
51’ 0-1 Janse
90’ 1-1 Slory Referee:
De Cler, Zijler, Boutahar Feyenoord:
Timmer; Tiendalli (81’ Mols), Lucius, Bahia, De Cler; El Ahmadi (76’ Slory), Bruins (46’ Fer), Van Bronckhorst; Wijnaldum, Makaay and Biseswar. Willem II:
Aerts; Janse (85’Van Dinter), Swinkels, Van Eijden, Veloso (87’ Quasten); Kargbo (78’ Nieuwendaal), Mathijssen, Boutahar, Akgün; Zijler and Demouge.