Coach Gertjan Verbeek wanted Saturday’s game as a run-through for the coming Uefa Cup away tie, to point up anything that his side may not be used to, not just in the game itself, but around it too.
He was handed a good example before kick-off. The Konyaspor squad were cheered loudly when they were presented to the crowd and the club chairman – who has bought no fewer than 15 players this summer – was given an enthusiastic welcome. During a pre-match lap of honour the supremo even took time out to climb on the fencing a number of times to milk the adoration of the crowd.
The players carried that passion into the game when it ultimately got underway. Feyenoord appeared to need to adjust to their opponents’ opportunistic play, but started to look more comfortable as the first half wore on.
Konyaspor had probed early on, but the game’s first serious opportunity fell to the visitors. Jon Dahl Tomasson beat his man after a fine one-two with Michael Mols, but ended up wider than he would have wished. As a result, his shot was easy for the keeper.
From there on in, Feyenoord took control of proceedings and created several major chances. Giovanni van Bronckhorst had a speculative effort punched clear by the keeper, Mols shot just past the post after latching onto a long ball from Serginho Greene, and on the stroke of half time Georginio Wijnaldum smashed in a shot that whisked the wrong side of the aluminium.
Konyaspor went nearest to opening the scoring in the first half through two virtually identical corners in a two-minute spell. Both were met by defender Milos, but both failed to hit the target. So the game was still goalless at the break.
Feyenoord found it hard to get going in the second half as they had in the first. Biseswar was on for Mols, who was carrying a minor Achilles injury, and that did make the Rotterdammers less predicable, but it took ten minutes before anything came of it. Biseswar broke and beat a defender, but the effort that followed was lacking any direction.
Neither team were able to control the game in the last half an hour. The play switched from end to end without much in the way of chances at all. Danny Buijs went closest with a long-distance drive that went well over the bar.
Just before the final whistle Konyaspor did have the opportunity to claim the victory. The Turks gained a free kick on the left, but Fahri blazed his effort over the bar. Konyaspor – Feyenoord 0-0 Referee:
Sehan Bal Konyaspor:
Jefferon; Ismail (66’ Serhat), Milos (46’ Mustafa), Cihan, Kaue; Celaletti (46’ Omer), Fahri, Zafer (46’ Fatih), Ferdi (46’ Erhan); Erdal (66’ Mehmet) and Veysel (46’ Tehoue). Feyenoord:
Ekramy (73’ Timmer); Greene (46’ Buijs), Vlaar, Bahia, De Cler; Landzaat (65’ Manteiga), Bruins, Van Bronckhorst (68’ Nieveld), Wijnaldum (73’ Janota); Mols (46’ Biseswar) and Tomasson (65’ Hofs).