‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord left Almelo Saturday night with a point after sharing six goals with Heracles in the Eredivisie. All three home goals stemmed from restarts, which will worry Bert van Marwijk, although he may also question the refereeing decisions in the run-up to all three situations. The visitors’ goals came from André Bahia, Nicky Hofs and Denny Landzaat, whose first-half strike was his first in Feyenoord colours.
Bert van Marwijk was clearly hoping his side had learned some valuable lessons from their experiences in the past few weeks. The coach has wasted few opportunities recently to stress the necessity of starting well. Truth is that Feyenoord have had a fair number of bad starts since the winter break wrapped up, so Van Marwijk was fired up to get his message over to his starting line-up.
With that in mind it must have been difficult for the coach to stomach how his side started in Almelo. The game was barely a minute old when Henk Timmer was beaten for the first time. In fact, the visitors had scarcely touched the ball when referee Blom blew for a foul by Luigi Bruins to the side of the penalty area. Everton efficiently headed in the resulting free kick.
The early goal did not seem to knocked Feyenoord off balance, mind. The Rotterdammers immediately went in search of an equaliser and were rewarded for their endeavour relatively quickly. The second goal of the evening again came from a free kick. Nicky Hofs played the ball onto André Bahia’s head and the Brazilian directed his effort between the sticks.
The goal took a weight of Feyenoord’s shoulders and the visitors started to adopt a short passing game rather than the long-ball game they had been increasingly moving towards. But just when it looked like the out-of-towners were finding their feet on the synthetic pitch, a defensive error put them on the back foot again.
A back-pass by Leroy Fer proved too hard for Timmer and the referee gave a corner, although the keeper disputed the wisdom of his decision. The restart against produced the breakthrough – for the third time in the half – Srdjan Lakic rising to head the hosts ahead again.
Denny Landzaat ensured that Feyenoord did not go in at half time trailing though. Kevin Hofland started the move, swapping passes with Jonathan de Guzman, who laid the ball off to the midfielder on the edge of the box. Hofland drove straight and true to claim his first goal for the Rotterdammers.
The spectacle continued in the same vein after the break. De Guzman almost got Feyenoord’s noses in front when he shot into the side netting, but Nicky Hofs made no mistake just ahead of the hour. The visitors’ best player manufactured the room to rattle off a drive that keeper Pieckenhagen did well to fist away, but he was unable to direct it out of the path of Hofs, who tucked in the rebound.
Bert van Marwijk will have been happy to see his side take the lead for the first time in the game, but less than delighted when they surrendered it as the hosts had done twice previously. The leveller came within three minutes. Referee Blom decided that Garcia-Garcia had been take down illegally in the box, pointing to the spot. Timmer got his fingers to Lakic’s penalty but not enough to stop the ball from hitting the back of the net to make it 3-3.
Heracles Almelo – Feyenoord 3-3
1’ 1-0 Everton
17’ 1-1 Bahia
23’ 2-1 Lakic
31’ 2-2 Landzaat
57’ 2-3 Hofs
60’ 3-3 Lakic (pen)
Bookings: Greene, Hofs, Bruins, Hofland, Quansah, Boakye, Garcia Garcia, Schilder
Heracles: Pieckenhagen; Boakye, Wuytens, Klavan, Smit; Quansah, Maas (61’ Schilder), Michalke (90’ Van den Bergh); Garcia-Garcia, Lakic, Everton
Feyenoord: Timmer; Fer (75’ Buijs), Greene, Hofland, Bahia; Landzaat, Hofs (90’ Sahin), Van Bronckhorst; De Guzman (82’ Slory), Makaay, Bruins