‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord put an emphatic full stop behind 2008 by recording a 3-1 win at De Kuip on Boxing Day. Gertjan Verbeek’s side ran out convincing winners against NAC Breda to end a run of four Eredivisie games without a win. Diego Biseswar got the party started with an awesome strike on the half-hour; Leroy Fer wrapped up the points with a goal either side of half time. Matthew Amoah got a goal back late on, denying Rob van Dijk a clean sheet, after the reserve keeper replaced injured Henk Timmer for the second successive match.
The stats looked good for the hosts before the game, as NAC had failed to earn a single point at De Kuip in a league fixture. Feyenoord also went into the game boasting a pristine Christmas record since the Eredivisie started scheduling a festive programme.
It didn’t stop Gertjan Verbeek’s side beginning untidily, although the visitors were just as disorderly to be fair. Feyenoord had much more of the ball in the opening stages, but were unable to finish things off. The final ball was a recurring problem for the home side. Not least when Andwelé Slory played in Roy Makaay on the quarter-hour mark. The Dutch international failed to connect as the ball bounced eccentrically.
Feyenoord finally came good after the half hour though. Diego Biseswar received the ball well outside the box, but he celebrated his return to the starting line-up after a long absence by beating his man before letting rip from distance. The ball flew towards goal, beating the keeper before dipping under the bar and into the net.
It was a breathtaking strike from Biseswar, but he almost did it again before the half was done. He was a little nearer the box when he rattled off his drive this time, but the execution was almost identical. Jelle ten Rouwelaar was beaten again, but this time the ball was just a few centimetres too high, hitting the bar.
NAC Breda were having trouble keeping up. Joonas Kolkka went closest for the visitors before half time. His free kick from the left on ten minutes whisked past Van Dijk’s goal.
The sides looked content to get to the break with the score at 1-0, but Giovanni van Bronckhorst felt his side needed more of a buffer. The skipper played a high ball into the box with seconds of the half remaining and Leroy Fer placed his head on the ball to beat Ten Rouwelaar and send Feyenoord in two-up at half time.
Feyenoord thus went in at the break comfortably ahead, but the hosts were not in the mood to take the foot off the pedal at the start of the second half. As NAC found it hard to build up any sort of momentum, the Rotterdammers pushed on looking to wrap up the points.
Fer took a leading role in the hunt for a third strike. The game was not long underway when Biseswar put through the midfielder as Feyenoord broke quickly, but Fer was unable to keep his footing on the wing. Not long after, Fer turned provider, slipping a great ball in to Makaay, but Ten Rouwelaar was faster to it, snuffing out the danger.
The game was just past the hour mark when Feyenoord moved further ahead. Fer received the ball from Wattamaleo midway the NAC half, finding himself in plenty of space as the visitors retreated. Fer immediately seized the opportunity to pull the trigger from outside the box and his courage was rewarded by a spot of luck. The ball bobbled up in front of Ten Rouwelaar and beyond the keeper’s reach. The third goal also put the game as a whole beyond NAC’s reach.
Feyenoord continued to show much initiative in the remainder of the game and were the most dangerous of the two teams, although the visitors’ did threaten on a couple of occasions.
The first was defused by Van Dijk, who saved from Matthew Amoah’s close-range header. The second however ended up in the net. Amoah got on the end of a one-two to slip the ball between the keeper and the post to ruin Feyenoord’s clean sheet.
Feyenoord – NAC Breda
33’ 1-0 Biseswar
45’ 2-0 Fer
63’ 3-0 Fer
87’ 3-1 Amoah
Referee: Van Hulten
Bookings: De Graaf
Feyenoord: Van Dijk; Tiendalli, Derijck, Lucius, Wattamaleo; Fer, Van Bronckhorst, Wijnaldum (50’ Leerdam); Slory (78’ Erasmus), Makaay and Biseswar (87’ Pedro).
NAC Breda: Ten Rouwelaar; Loran, Penders (46’ Gorter), Zwaanswijk, Mtiliga; De Graaf, Gilissen, Kwakman (56’ Idabdelhay); Kolkka, Amoah and Lurling (71’ Cairo).