Feyenoord continued their sorry Eredivisie run Sunday in Tilburg, going down to their third successive league defeat against Willem II. The only goal of the game came before the break. Frank Demouge was the scorer. The loss means that the Rotterdammers travel to Nancy in the week for their first Uefa Cup group stage game potentially short on confidence.
Feyenoord certainly had no luck in the first half in Tilburg. Major chances fell to the visitors early and late in the half, but in-between there was little to encourage the fans.
The best chance came as early as the third minute. It fell to Jonathan Guzman, who returned to the starting line-up after a spell out with a groin injury. The unavailability of Roy Makaay and Jon Dahl Tomasson led to Gertjan Verbeek playing De Guzman in attack and the Canadian Dutchman was left with just Maikel Aerts to beat early on. De Guzman was unable to finish things off with efficiency however, laying the ball off to Tim de Cler, who shot well over.
On the stroke of half time Feyenoord seemed to get the breakthrough. Giovanni van Bronckhorst tapped the ball into the net from a corner, but referee Wiedemeijer ruled out the goal for pushing by the experienced midfielder, who was not happy with the decision. That was not the first time the visitors had called the ref’s decision-making into question. The Feyenoord players felt that Frank Demouge might have earned a red card for an elbow in Kevin Hofland’s face.
The disallowed effort was Feyenoord’s best move of the first. Willem II had edged ahead halfway through the opening 45. The scorer was Demouge, who got the last touch after Schenkel had redirected an incoming free kick towards Henk Timmer’s goal.
In the final minute of the half both sides went close to netting. Christophe Gregoire lacked the cool finish needed when he found himself clear with just Timmer to beat. De Cler responded down the other end with a shot on the turn that hit a defender.
The game continued in the same vein in the second half, although Feyenoord showed a little more initiative. There were few opportunities to level before the hour-mark however. Karim El Ahmadi and substitute Michael Mols tried their luck from distance but neither were successful. The biggest chance after the break fell to De Guzman. The youngster was unable to get to a deflected Diego Biseswar cross and drove wide.
Feyenoord started to apply some serious pressure ten minutes later. Van Bronckhorst went close with a free kick, only for Aerts to paw the effort out of the top corner. From the resulting corner Hofland headed against the post. The defender repeated his trick just two minutes later from the next corner.
The pressure waned fairly soon though and the home side’s lead was ultimately scarcely in danger in the final ten minutes. Mols did force a save out of Aerts with a header, but in the end Willem II came out of the encounter three points richer. The hosts might even have doubled their lead before the final whistle, but Demouge missed in the last minute with only Timmer to beat.
Willem II – Feyenoord 1-0
22’ 1-0 Demouge
Willem II: Aerts; Swinkels, Schenkel, Van Eijden (83’ Zijler), Veloso; Akgün, Boutahar (18’ Gregoire), Kargbo, Mathijssen, Deul (68’ Nieuwendaal); Demouge.
Feyenoord: Timmer; Greene, Bahia, Hofland, De Cler (80’ Fer); Wijnaldum, El Ahmadi, Bruins (46’ Mols), Van Bronckhorst; De Guzman and Biseswar.