Feyenoord went down to a second European defeat in two games Thursday at De Kuip, as CSKA Moscow proved too strong in the UEFA Cup Group H clash. The Russians ran out 1-3 winners in the end although Feyenoord were their equals for most of the game. In the end, the difference between the sides was the Muscovites’ greater effectiveness in front of goal. Giovanni van Bronckhorst scored Feyenoord’s sole strike of the evening.

Just as Feyenoord seemed to have everything under control an individual mistake cost them dearly. It was captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst of all people who messed up, misjudging a header back in the direction of Henk Timmer. The ball fell straight into the path of Vagner Love, who raced in on goal to put the Muscovites ahead.

Van Bronckhorst had put Feyenoord back on level terms ten minutes earlier to cap a period of sustained home pressure. The goal came after some fine passing in the centre of the park. The ball came to Leroy Fer who played it into Roy Makaay. The striker set up Van Bronckhorst who beat the offside trap to stroke the ball past Igor Akinfeev.

It was no more than the hosts deserved after putting their guests under the cosh. Makaay had hit the bar with a header a few minutes before from a Tim de Cler cross.

CSKA Moskou had started the better. Timmer was relieved to see a header shaved the outside of his post as early as the second minute. Not long after he was forced into action to smother a long-distance effort from Evgeni Aldonin. The Russians got the breakthrough around the fifteen-minute mark. Andrei Berezutsky got his head down to a low corner at the near post, but the ball took a wicked deflection off Van Bronckhorst to sail past Timmer.

It meant that Feyenoord went in at the break 1-2 down, but the hosts made no bones about wanting to get back on level terms as soon as possible in the second half. Makaay almost managed it within just two minutes, when Fer found him free in front of Akinfeev with a fine long ball, but the striker put his shot centimetres wide.

Makaay’s shot proved to be the biggest chance of the half, as Feyenoord found it increasingly difficult to create anything. The Rotterdammers did have more ball possession and posed a threat down the right a number of times, but were unable to sculpt any gilt-edged opportunities.

Timmer was no more than a spectator for much of the half; other than a few loose crosses and speculative shots the Feyenoord keeper found himself with little to do. That all changed ten minutes from the end though. Vagner Love slipped through a whole in the home defence and drove a shot into the net to edge CSKA within touching distance of the win and qualification for the knockout stages of the competition.

Not long after Aldonin picked up his second yellow of the evening, but the
Russians comfortably played out the remaining time. Yury Zhrikov even went close to adding a fourth, but Timmer saved.

Feyenoord – CSKA Moscow 1-3
14’ 0-1 A. Berezutskiy
29’ 1-1 Van Bronckhorst
40’ 1-2 Vagner Love
80’ 1-3 Vagner Love

Referee: Moen
Bookings: Bahia, De Cler, Rahimic
Sending off: Aldonin (2 yellows)

Feyenoord: Timmer; Tiendalli, Bahia, Hofland, De Cler; Wijnaldum, El Ahmadi (79’ Mols), Fer, Van Bronckhorst; Makaay and Biseswar.
CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev; A. Berezutsky, V. Berezutsky, Ignashevich, Grigoryev; Krasic (85’ Rahimic), Aldonin, Šemberas, Zhirkov; Dzagoev (68’ Mamaev) and Vágner Love.
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