LAST CHANCE OF SILVERWARE EVAPORATES

Feyenoord’s attempt to win the KNVB Cup for the second year in succession floundered against Heerenveen Tuesday. The Rotterdammers were beaten by the northerners for the second time in five days, this time to an even less flattering score line. The hosts were the better side for much of the game, but were given a lesson in efficiency in front of goal by their guests, who ran out 3-0 winners in the end.

The first half at De Kuip was not unlike the Friday league meeting between the sides. Again, Feyenoord wasted a number of chances, only to see Heerenveen take theirs to go in at the break with their tails up and their noses in front.

Both sides started cautiously and the first opportunity of note came after the quarter-hour. Giovanni van Bronckhorst rattled in a shot from distance that whizzed the wrong side of Brian Vandenbussche’s post. The shot did however get the game moving somewhat, as Feyenoord created several good chances in close succession.

Diego Biseswar was the biggest threat. First he showed a deft touch to engineer space in the Heerenveen defence, sowing panic. Not long after he let rip from well outside the box, but the effort went just wide. The game had passed the half-hour mark by the time Van Bronckhorst got in on the act. His free kick from around 25 metres out was comfortably caught by the visitors’ keeper.

Feyenoord were in control of the game, but their guests were looking to cause havoc on the counter, as they had the previous Friday at the Abe Lenstra Stadium. While it had produced a couple of goals and some big chances in Heerenveen, in Rotterdam the visitors’ first real opportunity did not come until relatively late in the first half.

Trond Sollied’s team showed again just how effective they could be when Feyenoord botched up the offside trap, leaving Viktor Elm with just Henk Timmer to beat. The Swede got the better of the keeper with a measured grass cutter. The goal was Elm’s second at De Kuip this season, after a strike on behalf of Kalmar FF in the Uefa Cup early in the campaign.

Heerenveen continued to play a compact game after the break too. With little space on the pitch Feyenoord were finding it hard to get any kind of rhythm going.

The Rotterdammers were unable to put any real sustained pressure on the visitors’ goal in the first quarter-hour of the second half. The only shots came from Luigi Bruins (wide) and Roy Makaay (saved). Georginio Wijnaldum went close just ahead of the hour mark, but he headed wide after Biseswar’s shot was blocked.

The youngster had a great opportunity to equalise five minutes later, but he failed to convert Van Bronckhorst’s cross not once but twice. Not long after, Wijnaldum played a through ball to Luigi Bruins, but the midfielder’s shot was lacking in power.

With Feyenoord continuing to pass up chance after chance, Heerenveen took full advantage around a quarter of an hour from time. Danijel Pranjic gave fair warning with a shot on goal, but it was not heeded and Elm grabbed his second of the evening not long after. Roy Makaay squandered possession, giving Roy Beerens the chance to counter with a fine one-two. Beerens finally found the Swede, who netted from a few metres out.

That was game over, but Beerens made completely sure in the last tem minutes or so. Substitute Arnor Smárason played the striker in and Beerens finished sweetly. By that time Vandenbussche had already denied Feyenoord a goal, scrambling to the bottom corner to deny Wijnaldum.

Feyenoord – sc Heerenveen 0-3
37’ 0-1 Elm
73’ 0-2 Elm
82’ 0-3 Beerens

Referee: Vink
Bookings: Bahia, Breuer

Feyenoord: Timmer; Tiendalli, Lucius (75’ Fer), Hofland, Bahia; El Ahmadi, Bruins (69’ Mols), Van Bronckhorst; Wijnaldum, Makaay and Biseswar.
Sc Heerenveen: Vandenbussche; Breuer, Bak Nielsen, Dingsdag, Popov; Grindheim, Svec, Väyrynen; Beerens, Elm (84’ Kalou) and Pranjic (77’ Smárason).
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