Karim El Ahmadi is leaving Feyenoord after eight seasons at the club. The 33-year-old midfielder, who has won four trophies...
Feyenoord prepared for Thursday’s make-or-break UEFA Cup game at Deportivo la Coruña with a fine victory at De Kuip Sunday. ADO De Haag grabbed an early lead in the game, but Feyenoord were soon back on terms through Roy Makaay. From there on in Feyenoord were in control and goals either side of half time from Leroy Fer and Luigi Bruins secured the points. Kevin Hofland did not start the game due to an ankle injury. His place was taken by Timothy Derijck, who made his season bow.
The opening stages of the game were mostly played out in midfield. Feyenoord had most of the ball, but were unable to threaten the visitors’ goal, while ADO were scarcely able to retain possession long enough to make a forage into the home side’s half.
Even so there was an early goal at De Kuip and, perhaps unsurprisingly bearing in mind Feyenoord’s luck this season, it went to the away side.
The game was ten minutes old when Fabio Caracciolo rattled off a seemingly harmless shot from the left. Unfortunately though, Timmer was unable to get the ball under control and Richard Knopper pounced on the rebound to net.
Feyenoord got the leveller within six minutes. Dwight Tiendalli picked up the second ball on the right, after it was headed away by the visitors’ defence, and played a high ball into the goal area. Roy Makaay out-jumped everyone at the far post to guide the ball over Zwinkels and in.
It was the start of a fine period of play in which both sides created opportunities. Feyenoord were the more insistent side, whereas the visitors preferred to play on the counter. The home side’s chances fell to Timothy Derijck (header just over) and Luigi Bruins (shot in the side net). At the other end, Caracciolo had a great chance to put his side back in front, but his air-shot brought nothing but some light relief.
Feyenoord eventually managed to force the breakthrough just before the break. Tiendalli had an important role. He moved up on the right, finding Makaay, whose shot was beaten away by Zwinkels, but Fer was there to tap in the rebound.
The goal appeared to have set Feyenoord free, because the hosts really started to cut loose after the break. As the snow came down increasingly heavily, Verbeek’s team passed their way towards a comfortable lead.
A third goal followed within ten minutes. The move originated in the middle of the park, when Georginio Wijnaldum played a deep ball into Makaay. The striker took his bearings before playing a sweeping pass across the pitch to Luigi Bruins, who was all alone in front of goal. The midfielder finished the move by tapping the ball into the net.
ADO Den Haag offered no threat whatsoever until midway through the half. Defender Csaba Horvath latched onto a cross to on the left, but Timmer managed to get the ball away from the Hungarian’s feet.
It was the final endeavour from the visitors, because ADO caused no problems in the final quarter of the game. Feyenoord closed out the game with the utmost professionalism and might even have extended their lead.
The biggest opportunity feel to substitute Kermit Erasmus, who took over from Makaay in the last fifteen minutes. The South African beat Zwinkels, but his shot ended up in the side netting.
Feyenoord – ADO Den Haag 3-1
10’ 0-1 Knopper
16’ 1-1 Makaay
43’ 2-1 Fer
54’ 3-1 Bruins
Bookings: Derijck, Knopper, Tillema, Cornelisse
Feyenoord: Timmer; Tiendalli, Derijck, Bahia, De Cler; Wijnaldum (85’ Pedro), El Ahmadi, Van Bronckhorst, Fer (60’ Lucius), Bruins; Makaay (76’ Erasmus).
ADO Den Haag: Zwinkels; Tillema (Resodihardjo), Kum, Horvath, Van Hese; Rankovic, Knopper, Verhoek (46’ Soltani); Immers, Caracciolo and Cornelisse.