The pressure had been tangible at De Kuip in recent days. Not least because of the club’s long-held ambition to win a trophy to add sheen to the centenary year. Bert van Marwijk admitted to having felt the tension in his squad, but when the game kicked off it soon became clear that his men were up to handling the pressure.
Feyenoord were clearly bent on putting in a good performance to give themselves the best opportunity to win the cup. The result was an impressive first half and an early lead for the ‘hosts’. The game was seven minutes old when Tim de Cler split the Roda JC defence with a pass to Luigi Bruins. The midfielder did not break his stride in sending in a wonderful first-time cross. Landzaat was in precisely the right spot to sweep the ball past Bram Castro to give his side the lead.
Feyenoord dropped off a little after the goal, playing as though they had full control of the game. As a result, Roda JC started to sniff around Henk Timmer’s goal a little more often. Clean-cut chances there were not, although there was plenty of menace. Cheikh Tioté shot wide on twenty minutes. It came just after a collective sigh of relief from the red-and-white clad fans when Roland Lamah’s dive in the box was waved away by referee Jack van Hulten.
The Rotterdammers’ second promising attack brought the second goal of the early evening. On 35 minutes De Guzman played a one-two with Michael Mols. The Canadian Dutchman got the ball back just right, sprinting past Jan Paul Saeijs before being taken down by Davy De Fauw. The Belgian’s foul came too late however, because De Guzman had managed to get the ball over the line to make it 2-0.
Feyenoord played the game out with self-confidence after the break. And without giving too much away at the back either. The ‘hosts’ did find it harder going forward, but the comfortable lead meant that the Rotterdam supporters were unworried by the lack of penetration though. The crowd were more than happy to express their satisfaction, no more so than when Roy Makaay made his long-anticipated re-entrance on 66 minutes, after a lengthy layoff.
The first Roda JC-inspired danger came a couple of minutes after the substitution. Marcel Meeuwis rattled in a drive across the goal. Timmer put the effort out for a corner. Landzaat went close too at the other end: his shot came off the post and back into play. Castro was forced into action ten minutes from time when Van Bronckhorst latched onto an incoming corner with his head. Saeijs came to his keeper’s rescue just before the end, clearing off the line when Makaay chipped Castro.
As the clock ran down the Limburg outfit started to lose faith. Feyenoord were controlling the game and had opportunities to put themselves out of sight. The crowd sensed that the cup was Feyenoord’s, celebrating the first trophy in six years in the final minutes, although the fans only really cut loose when the final whistle sounded.
Feyenoord – Roda JC 2-0
7’ Landzaat 1-0
35’ De Guzman 2-0
Bookings: Lucius, Landzaat, Tioté, Janssen, Meeuwis
Referee: Van Hulten
Feyenoord: Timmer; Lucius, Hofland (46’ Greene), Bahia, De Cler; Landzaat, Van Bronckhorst, Sahin (70’ Fer); De Guzman, Mols (66’ Makaay), Bruins.
Roda JC: Castro; Sonkaya (46’ Van Kouwen), De Fauw, Saeijs, Bodor; Janssen, Meeuwis, Tioté; Hadouir (46’ Hadouir), Oper, Lamah.