UNSATISFACTORY OPENER IN ALMELO: 3-1

Feyenoord started the Eredivisie season with a loss Saturday. Heracles Almelo were too strong in their own Polman Stadium, running out 3-1 winners. The Rotterdammers snatched a first-minute lead through André Bahia, but the game changed when Jonathan de Guzman was sent off after half an hour. Goals by Darl Douglas, Ragnar Klavan and Karim Bridji ultimately secured the points for the home side. Michal Janota made his league debut for Feyenoord as a substitute.

Feyenoord had a dream start to the new season, taking the lead within a minute of kick off. Heracles had touched the ball once in the game when Denny Landzaat was brought down on the right. Giovanni van Bronckhorst whipped in the resulting free kick, finding André Bahia, who headed in.



Despite the early lead it soon become clear that Feyenoord would not have an easy afternoon of it. Heracles Almelo’s speedy wingers Darl Douglas and Sebastiaan Steur were creating danger, although no clear-cut chances were created in the opening phase.

Leroy Fer actually had the best chance of the early exchanges. Keeper Martin Pieckenhagen saw a deep ball go past him but Fer slipped at the vital moment and the danger was gone.

There was a decisive flashpoint on the half-hour when Jonathan de Guzman was pulled up for allegedly elbowing Kwame Quansah. The home midfielder went to ground and after taking the advice of his assistant referee Luinge pulled out the red card.



It left Feyenoord having to firm up in defence and midfield before the break. That was easier said than done though, because Steur could have levelled the game ten minutes before half time if he had kept his shot down. Instead he skied it over the bar.

The equaliser did come three minutes later however. This time Heracles were able to benefit from some good fortune. Steur’s cross was miss-hit by Ragnar Klavan just a couple of metres out, putting the ball into the path of Douglas. The striker placed the ball into the gaping net.

The home side might have gone in ahead in fact, but a header by Bas Dost lacked direction and sailed over.

The picture changed little in the second half. Feyenoord did make two threatening breaks, but long-distance efforts from Mols and Landzaat were both foiled by Pieckenhagen. At the other end, the home side created a series of opportunities.

Steur had two good chances from close in, but missed the ball on both occasions. A little later Wuytens put a free kick just over Timmer’s bar. Klavan’s diagonal drive was dangerous too.



The pressure was building on Feyenoord and the goal eventually came on the hour. Georginio Wijnaldum was unable to get an incoming cross away and Klavan found the ball at his feet. The midfielder jumped at the chance, shooting hard and true from the edge of the box to edge his side ahead.

Feyenoord were focused on keeping the score down in the final half-hour rather than threatening the hosts themselves. Diego Biseswar did have a chance to equalise, but the substitute was unable to create the space he wanted in the box.



Down the other end, Ricky van den Bergh (post), Willie Overtoom (wide) and Wuytens (header saved by Timmer) all went close, before Karim Bridji wrapped up the points in time added on with a tap in.

Heracles Almelo – Feyenoord 3-1
1’ 0-1 Bahia
38’ 1-1 Douglas
60’ 2-1 Klavan
90’ 3-1 Bridji

Referee: Luinge
Booking: Dost, Bahia
Sending off: De Guzman

Heracles Almelo: Pieckenhagen; Breukers, Maertens, Wuytens, Looms; Quansah, Van den Bergh (72’ Bridji), Klavan; Douglas, Dost (79’ Overtoom) and Steur (65’ Everton).
Feyenoord: Timmer; Greene (46’ Buijs), Bahia, Landzaat, De Cler; Fer, Wijnaldum, Van Bronckhorst, Bruins (68’ Biseswar); Mols (72’ Janota) and De Guzman.
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