FEYENOORD REACH UEFA CUP GROUP STAGE

Feyenoord booked their place in the group stage of the Uefa Cup Thursday with a fine victory in Sweden. Gertjan Verbeek’s side went into the second leg a goal down, but Georginio Wijnaldum got them back on terms early on. A second half own goal ultimately put Feyenoord through on the away goals. Karim El Ahmadi came of the bench to make his competitive debut for the Rotterdammers.

Feyenoord lined up in Borås in a very forward-looking formation, with Bruins, Biseswar and Wijnaldum all backing up out-and-out striker Roy Makaay. The Rotterdammers went on the offensive immediately from the kick off and the home side soon found themselves under sustained pressure.



The Swedes were finding it difficult to cope with their attacking opponents and were restricted to a handful of long-range efforts in the first half. Their guests on the other hand were playing some eye-catching combination football, which brought them in the neighbourhood of the home goal on a number of occasions.

Only some sloppy finishing stood between Feyenoord and a commanding lead. The biggest chance fell to Roy Makaay just before the break. Tim de Cler found the striker at the far post, but Makaay shot straight at the keeper.

Feyenoord had the opener by then however. It was a sort of joint venture between Georginio Wijnaldum and the Swedish keeper Petter Wastå. The Feyenoord midfielder picked up the ball in the Kalmar half, turning away from two defenders before unleashing a wicked drive from 25 metres or so. Hard as it was, keeper Wastå should have held onto it, but he let it escape his grasp. Despite his desperate attempts to clear, the ball passed the goal line and Feyenoord were right back in the tie.



It seemed obvious that Feyenoord would push on to get the second goal, which would give them some breathing space. Gertjan Verbeek’s side did just that but were unable to create anything clear-cut. Save a Makaay effort that is. With ten minutes of the half remaining, the striker pounced on a back pass but his attempted chip over the keeper was not good enough.

Kalmar had not really threatened Feyenoord in the later stages of the first half, but a strong start to the second yielded an immediate goal. Jimmie Johansson rattled in an effort when the ball came to him knee high on the edge of the box to put his side back in the driving seat.

Feyenoord came back strongly however, continuing where they left off before the break. Their attacking play was rewarded with a second goal within five minutes. Leroy Fer jumped highest at a corner, nodding the ball towards goal, only for it to take a wicked deflection off Nouri to disappear into the net.



It meant that Kalmar needed to score to take the game into extra time. The Swedes responded by pushing forward and Feyenoord found themselves having to work hard to hold onto their lead. It did produce some extra space for the Rotterdammers to push into at the other end however. Diego Biseswar almost made full use of it with 20 minutes left, but the youngster’s effort went over.



There was a let-off for Feyenoord on the hour when Patrik Ingelsten smashed a hard shot into the net, only for referee Kinhöfer to rule it out. The visitors also had a goal chalked off five minutes from the end. A Kevin Hofland header was not allowed to stand.



Kalmar coach Nanne Bergstrand tried to win back the initiative with a triple substitution with just over ten minutes to go, but Feyenoord kept their shape. Giovanni van Bronckhorst actually went closest to scoring, before the whistle went and Feyenoord celebrated victory and qualification for the group stages of the tournament.



Kalmar FF – Feyenoord 1-2
17’ 0-1 Wijnaldum
46’ 1-1 Johansson
51’ 1-2 Nouri (og)

Referee: Kinhöfer
Bookings: Nouri, Van Bronckhorst

Kalmar FF: Wastå; Lindberg, Lantz, Nouri, Rosengren; R. Elm, Ryström, Augustsson (78’ Sobralense); Ingelsten (78’ Dauda), V. Elm and Johansson (78’ D. Elm).
Feyenoord: Van Dijk; Greene, Bahia, Hofland, De Cler; Bruins (73’ El Ahmadi), Fer, Van Bronckhorst, Wijnaldum, Biseswar; Makaay.

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