‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord were formally eliminated from the Uefa Cup Wednesday, going down to a fourth defeat in as many group stage matches. Lech Poznan snatched all three points by the narrowest of margins, Ivan Djurdjevic grabbing the only goal of the game. Feyenoord ended the match with two young European debutants on the pitch: Kevin Wattamaleo, who played from the start and Michal Janota, who came off the subs bench against his compatriots.
The opening stages at De Kuip were characterised by caution from both sides. Feyenoord were looking to avoid finishing bottom the group, while the Poles were hoping to advance to the knockout stages. It all meant that neither side were willing to take any risks.
As a result, the game took a full half an hour to get going. But Lech Poznan brought it to life by converting their first chance of the game. Djurdjevic got his head to a corner, directing the ball across the face of the goal and into the far corner.
It was the first time Henk Timmer had been called into any kind of action since the first minute of the encounter, when he defused a long-range shot. Roy Makaay had tested Ivan Turina at the other end with a header.
The game changed completely after the goal. With nothing left to lose Feyenoord cut loose and streamed forward. As a consequence the visitors were given more space to run into at the other end.
Robert Lewandowski almost took full advantage before the break to ease the visitors further ahead. There were ten minutes of the half remaining when he headed just wide from a cross from the right. Not long after Slawomir Peszko was able to advance on Timmer’s goal after a through ball from Hernan Rengifo, but the midfielder managed to put the ball out for a throw in from a dangerous position in the penalty area.
Poznan were less dominant after the turnaround, while Feyenoord slowly began to get themselves into the game. It resulted in the hosts’ best attack of the game just ahead of the hour mark. From a position on the right wing Wijnaldum found Leroy Fer, who played in Makaay with a fine back heel. Makaay in turn set up Luigi Bruins, but the midfielder shot straight at the keeper’s body.
With an eye to the weekend trip to PSV Gertjan Verbeek decided to bring off three important players ahead of the last half hour or so. It meant that Feyenoord rounded off their UEFA Cup campaign with a very youthful eleven on the pitch.
It did not prevent them from pushing on in search of the equaliser though André Bahia went closest to getting it on no fewer than three occasions. The defender had two headed chances – first from a free kick, then from a corner – but the first was stopped and the second was put wide. Then just before the final whistle Bahia was a toe away from nudging in Bruins cross shot.
Feyenoord – Lech Poznan 0-1
27’ 0-1 Djurdjevic
Referee: Dondarini (second half: Velotto)
Bookings: Lucius, Bahia, Djurdjevic, Peszko
Feyenoord: Timmer; Tiendalli, Derijck, Bahia, Wattamaleo; Wijnaldum (65’ Janota), Lucius, Fer (64’ Erasmus), El Ahmadi (56’ Leerdam), Bruins; Makaay.
Lech Poznan: Turina; Wojtowiak, Arbeloda, Tanevski, Djurdjevic; Peszko, Wilk, Murawski; Lewandowski (90’ Reiss), Rengifo (90’ Kikut), Stilic (70’ Bandrowski).