The game was preceded by a minute’s silence in memory of KNVB chairman Jeu Sprengers, who died earlier in the week.
Recent Feyenoord results have been well below par, but performances in the losses to Sparta and NAC Breda were not so bad. Despite the meagre return then, the Rotterdammers could start the game against FC Utrecht with confidence.
That confidence was quickly repaid. The breakthrough came just after the half-hour mark, but the hosts had threatened their guests’ goal on two occasions by then. Sahin managed to head metres wide on the quarter-hour mark despite being found in acres of space by a pinpoint Jonathan de Guzman cross. Eight minutes later, De Guzman played in another tempting ball, but Van Bronckhorst was unable to get the ball past Wesley de Ruiter and into the net from a meter out.
FC Utrecht had little to stack against that, save a half-shot from Nelisse, so it was not surprising that Feyenoord opened the scoring. Bruins it was who grabbed the goal, although he had quite a bit of assistance from some generous Utrecht defenders. Both Francis Dickoh and De Ruiter were watched passively as the youngster lined up a shot that whizzed across the box and in.
Feyenoord pushed on looking to kill off the visitor’s challenge. Five minutes later they went close with a corner, but the Utrecht defence appeared to have cleared the ball from the mouth of the goal. Until that is Landzaat volleyed the ball back towards the goal with interest from outside the box. Landzaat managed to keep his effort down and the ball crept under the bar to double the Rotterdammers’ lead.
Sahin had the third in his reach just before half time, but De Ruiter denied the Turk.
It was only a stay of execution though. Within ten minutes of the restart Sahin had his name on the score-sheet. The goal came after some tremendous work by De Guzman, who slalomed through the Utrecht lines like a champion. His ball in was gold medal standard too. All that was needed was a simple nod of Sahin’s head to convert the chance and put Feyenoord out of sight. He duly obliged
FC Utrecht were totally uninspiring, but they did manage to peg Feyenoord’s lead back to two goals with a quarter of an hour to go. Leroy George whacked an effort into a packed penalty area and the ball fell fortuitously for Robin Nelisse, who slotted home.
The goal could not stir the visitors however and Feyenoord ran out comfortable winners.
Feyenoord – FC Utrecht 3-1
32’ Bruins 1-0
37’ Landzaat 2-0
55’ Sahin 3-0
74’ Nelisse 3-1
Bookings: Van Bronckhorst, Bahia, Van der Gun, Cornelisse
Feyenoord: Timmer; Lucius, Bahia, Hofland (46’ Greene), De Cler; Landzaat, Van Bronckhorst, Sahin (78’ Hofs); De Guzman, Mols, Bruins (70’ Slory).
FC Utrecht: De Ruiter; Cornelisse, Van der Kooy, Dickoh, Pieters (46’ Kuipers); George, Van der Gun, Schaken, Van Dijk; Nelisse, Loval (70’ Kopteff).