Feyenoord secured the first three points of the year Thursday after two successive Eredivisie defeats in 2008. A strong second-half display helped the Rotterdammers brush aside the challenge of FC Twente after falling behind early in the game via a penalty converted by N’Kufo. Luigi Bruins equalised before the break though, and further strikes by Roy Makaay and Tim de Cler ultimately secured the win for Bert van Marwijk’s men. The coach will however be less pleased about Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s yellow card, which rules him out of Sunday’s game against FC Groningen.

Feyenoord appeared to be settling in fairly well after an early charge by Jonathan de Guzman, but it was in fact the visitors who started best. FC Twente got into a good rhythm immediately, knocking the ball around with confidence. It resulted in some threatening situations and a chance or two. Both N’Kufo and Eljero Elia went close in the opening sixty seconds, although the visitors had to wait till the 21-minute mark before getting the breakthrough.

It came after a mistake by André Bahia, who attempted to avert the danger when Romano Denneboom got past De Cler. Bahia was too late with his tackle though and referee Van Egmond had no qualms about pointing to the spot. N’Kufo stepped up to the mark to convert.

The goal did not spur Feyenoord into action however as the out-of-towners applied more pressure. The game was 33 minutes old when Elia was gifted a platinum opportunity to put his side further ahead. Stein Huysegems’ shot ricocheted to his fellow striker and Elia’s shot had Timmer beaten hands down, but the post got in the way.

The home fans were finding it difficult to raise a cheer but sparked to life when Bert van Marwijk’s side dragged themselves level five minutes before the break. The FC Twente defence moved up in unison to leave two Feyenoord players offside, but it was Bruins who moved through to latch onto the ball from an onside position, knocking it past Sander Boschker to equalise.

The goal was a godsend for the home side, and Van Marwijk will have used it to get his side up for the second half during the break. The home side certainly came out fired up.

Nuri Sahin was inches away from handing the hosts the lead early on and Theo Lucius was even closer to edging his side ahead on 53 minutes, after being played in by Van Bronckhorst. The midfielder could hardly believe it himself when he blasted wide.

The hosts’ pressure soon had the desired effect however. Makaay met De Cler’s wonderful daisy cutter into the box to leave Boschker chanceless and edge Feyenoord ahead on 55 minutes.

Feyenoord were suddenly on fire. Van Bronckhorst tested Boschker with a wicked drive from outside the box. The keeper punched the home skipper’s effort away but was beaten a minute later when Serginho Greene headed in from a corner. Unfortunately the effort hit the bar and bounced to safety.

The pressure was building however and it seemed only a matter of time before the visitors’ defence would be breached again. That turned out to be true. Tim de Cler picked up the ball on the wing, but his determination took him through a couple of tackles and into the box where he rifled a shot into the near corner where Boschker was unable to get down to the ball and suddenly Feyenoord had a two-goal cushion.

De Cler’s effort signalled the end of the line for FC Twente’s thirteen-match unbeaten run although the visitors did see more of the ball as their opponents took their foot off the pedal somewhat.

In the end though FC Twente were able to threaten Henk Timmer’s goal only once. Greene cleared a few metres from the line.

Feyenoord – FC Twente 3-1
21’ N’Kufo 0-1 (penalty)
40’ Bruins 1-1
55’ Makaay 2-1
62’ De Cler 3-1

Booking: Van Bronckhorst, Engelaar

Referee: Van Egmond

Feyenoord: Timmer; Lucius, Greene, Bahia, De Cler; Sahin (90’ Wijnaldum), De Guzman, Van Bronckhorst; Slory (79’ Lee), Makaay, Bruins (58’ Hofs)
FC Twente: Boschker; Wilkshire, Zomer, Wielaert (80’ Douglas), Wellenberg; Engelaar, El Ahmadi, Huysegems (72’ Arnautovic); Denneboom, N’Kufo, Elia (65’ Brama)

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