Feyenoord knew that they would go into the winter break atop the Eredivisie, and it encouraged the Rotterdammers to attack from the first whistle. The visitors were unable to keep hold of the ball long enough to threaten the Heerenveen goal however.
Heerenveen were also finding it difficult to keep possession, although they did put the visitors under pressure a couple of times. Henk Timmer was having a good game however. On fifteen minutes the keeper kept out Gianni Zuiverloon’s shot, before pushing out Roy Beerens attempt from a corner. A few minutes before the break Timmer was able to stop Niek Loohuis’s header.
Feyenoord already had the lead by then. It was rather against the run of play when it came just after the fifteen-minute mark. Sahin went up for a high ball on the edge of the home side’s penalty box, but it fell to Andwelé Slory who got in front of keeper Van Dijk to slam his side ahead.
There was bad news for Feyenoord just before the break when Kevin Hofland was injured in an unfortunate incident. At first sight it looked like the defender had a knee injury, and a serious one at that.
Bert van Marwijk’s team were clearly affected by the loss of the central stopper. Heerenveen managed to push their guests back from the first in the second half. The Frisians were giving Feyenoord a lot of problems with some fast combination football, although things were typically breaking down in front of goal.
The home side had created three enormous chances within five minutes of the restart. First Pranjic pulled a long-range drive wide, then Miralem Sulejmani sent in a dangerous cross that every one of the home attackers missed. The resulting corner was headed goalways by Dingsdag, beating Timmer but not Slory who cleared off the line.
The rest of the second half found Feyenoord on the back foot as the Frisians looked to level things, although the visitors did look dangerous on the break. The Rotterdammers had two big opportunities on the counter. The first was for Bruins, who was unable to make proper contact with Slory’s cross. With a quarter of an hour to go Slory was the one with the final touch from a Makaay pass. The youngster was unable to keep his effort on target.
As the game entered the final stages Heerenveen went mighty close to levelling things. The most danger came from the wings, but the visitors defended strongly in the air and on the ground.
As time wore on it looked increasingly likely that Feyenoord would take all three points, but the home side managed to pull alongside in the final minutes. Giovanni van Bronckhorst floored his direct opponent without a ball in sight and Gerald Sibon stepped up to smash the free kick in the net from twenty metres out to deny Feyenoord the top position in the Eredivisie going into the winter break. Sc Heerenveen – Feyenoord 1-1
17’ 0-1 Slory
88’ 1-1 Sibon Referee:
Beerens, Lucius Heerenveen:
Van Dijk; Zuiverloon, Dingsdag, Drost, Jong-A-Pin; Loohuis (72’ Matusiak), Poulsen, Pranjic; Beerens, Sibon, Pranjic Feyenoord:
Timmer; Lucius, Hofland (42’ Greene), Bahia, De Cler; Sahin (55’ D. Buijs), De Guzman, Van Bronckhorst; Slory, Makaay, Bruins (78’ Hofs)