Feyenoord had the biggest chance of the first half as early as the first minute. Roy Makaay won the ball on the by-line, playing it back into the path of Luigi Bruins. The midfielder’s shot was hard but straight at keeper Erik Heijblok, who punched clear.
De Graafschap found themselves on the back foot as Feyenoord continued to push, but it all went pear-shaped for the home side on ten minutes. Karim El Ahmadi gave the ball away in midfield when there did not seem to be any pressure on the Moroccan international. The home defence were caught out of position and Jason Oost raced onto a deep ball, before rounding Henk Timmer to net.
The goal gave De Graafschap the edge on the scoreboard and the desire to protect what they had at the expense of the spectacle. Feyenoord were invited to play with the ball in the middle of the park, but found themselves faced with an 11-man defensive unit in the final third that was nigh on impossible to break down.
As such, any threat that Feyenoord did show in the remainder of the half came from long-distance efforts. The only exception was a chance for Makaay, whose header hit Heijblok’s body on the quarter-hour mark.
Otherwise Feyenoord were limited to a free kick from their main marksman and speculative drives from Theo Lucius and Georginio Wijnaldum on the stroke of half time. All went over.
Just like in the opening half, Feyenoord were fastest out of the blocks after the break. The Rotterdammers looked ready to get back on terms as soon as possible and the visitors were put under pressure.
Yet, just like in the opening half, it was De Graafschap that converted the first chance after the break. The second half was five minutes old when Purrel Fränkel sent in a cross that beat both Timmer and Kevin Hofland. Geert den Ouden was at the back post to net.
It made Feyenoord’s quest for a point all the harder, but the hosts weren’t in the mood to throw in the towel. The chances continued to come, the biggest of them on the hour mark. Wijnaldum shot out of the turn, but his effort cracked against the bar.
Feyenoord were forced to push forward in search of a goal and Gertjan Verbeek brought on an extra striker, which left room farther down field for De Graafschap to cause problems. Den Ouden exploited the space with about twenty minutes left, spooning a canny chip over Timmer to make it three.
Feyenoord got one back with ten minutes left. Hofland got the ball at his feet on the left from a free kick and the defender slammed it past Heijblok without hesitation.
Even then the visitors could have increased the margin back to three at the death, but Reinier Robbemond missed the mark. Feyenoord – De Graafschap 1-3
11’ 0-1 Oost
50’ 0-2 Den Ouden
69’ 0-3 Den Ouden
79’ 1-3 Hofland Referee:
Van Boekel Bookings:
Bahia, Oost Feyenoord:
Timmer; Tiendalli (62’ Slory), Bahia, Hofland, Van Bronckhorst; Wijnaldum, Lucius, Fer, El Ahmadi, Bruins (53’ Pedro); Makaay. De Graafschap:
Heijblok; Bot, Keller, Meijer, Frankel; Jungschlager, Schuurman, Hese, Van den Ouweland (86’ Buijs); Den Ouden (78’ De Groot) and Oost (82’ Robbemond).