Feyenoord were frustrated on their return to European competition after almost two years absence Thursday. Swedish champions elect Kalmar FF scored the only goal of the first-leg tie at De Kuip to take a vital lead back to Sweden for the return. The hosts had the edge in the first 45, but Viktor Elm grabbed the winner for the visitors halfway through the second half. Roy Makaay played the last 20 minutes of the game, after recovering from a foot fracture last week.

Feyenoord’s European return was low-key in the end. The home side controlled the midfield for long periods, but a lack of creativity up front meant that little was fashioned in the way of incisive opportunities.

Jonathan de Guzman was closest to opening the scoring a fair way after the half-hour mark. The youngster headed a Giovanni van Bronckhorst cross just wide. It was the second headed effort for the midfielder, whose three-match ban happily does not include European competitions. The Kalmar keeper Petter Wastå easily gathered the first attempt.

Save a shot from Tim de Cler that whisked across the goal, that was about it as regards Feyenoord chances in the first half. Kalmar, who were playing on the counter, had only a speculative shot from Viktor Elm (wide) and a free kick from brother Rasmus Elm (over off a defender) to stack up against that. After half an hour or so Patrik Ingelsten seemed to have got in behind André Bahia, but the Brazilian slid the ball out of the striker’s reach before he could shoot.

The game opened up more after the break. Kalmar went close to benefiting first from the extra space, when Ingelsten found himself with just Timmer to be. The Feyenoord keeper blocked the shot when it came though.

It was the start of a phase in which the ball changed possession recurrently and both sides created great chances. Ingelsten went close again with a shot that Timmer saved, while at the other end Jonathan de Guzman and Georginio Wijnaldum both tried their luck from distance – both without luck. Kevin Hofland also tested the Swedish keeper with the most striking goal attempt of the evening. The defender’s bicycle kick was on target but Wastå had little difficulty snatching it out of the air.

The game seemed to be cooling down a little after that action, but in fact it would see a goal for the visitors. Viktor Elm raced on to an incoming free kick from the left while the home defence napped, getting his head to the ball to direct it out of Timmer’s reach and into the net to give Kalmar the lead.

It would ultimately be the only goal of the game, because as much as Feyenoord huffed and puffed, they were unable to blow the visitors’ house down. In the end the Rotterdammers had to be happy not to lose a second goal. The game was in added time when substitute David Elm found himself in space in front of Timmer’s goal, but his shot was too weak to trouble the Feyenoord keeper.

Feyenoord – Kalmar FF 0-1
72’ 0-1 V. Elm

Referee: Ceferin
Bookings: -

Feyenoord: Timmer; Lucius, Bahia, Hofland (67’ Greene), De Cler; Fer, De Guzman (61’ Biseswar), Van Bronckhorst, Wijnaldum; Mols (72’ Makaay) and Tomasson.
Kalmar FF: Wastå; Sorin, Lantz, Lindberg, Nouri; R. Elm, Rydstrom, Johansson, Augustsson (81’ Larsson); Ingelsten (90’ Douda) and V. Elm (89’ D. Elm).

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