Feyenoord were never in any real danger in the first half in Venlo, but there was plenty for Bert van Marwijk to discuss at the break. The visitors seemed to lack creativity, characterised by the numerous times the ball was passed to keeper Henk Timmer. The Rotterdammers found it difficult to put together a flowing attack capable of penetrating the home defence.
The Eredivisie newcomers did get themselves into the Feyenoord box on a number of occasions, although there was a dearth of genuine opportunities at that end too. Timmer was forced into action for the first time four minutes before half time in response to an Edwin Linssen free kick. Earlier VVV efforts came in the shape of shots by Mike Mampuya and Nordin Amrabat, both of which were off target.
The few times Van Marwijk’s side did get near to the home goal they looked seriously capable of breaking the deadlock. Keeper Danny Wintjes turned away a diagonal drive from Andwelé Slory after eight minutes.
The keeper was called into action again on 21 minutes when Slory crossed. Wintjes was put under pressure by the incoming De Guzman and could only kick the ball into a packed penalty area. Makaay looked ideally placed to punish the mistake, but couldn’t keep his shot down. Wijnaldum tried one from distance ten minutes before the break, but the ball again sailed over the bar.
Timmer’s vigilance kept Feyenoord on level terms at the beginning of the second half. Amrabat’s shot deflected off Bahia, but the visitors’ keeper was able to reposition himself. He was on the ball again a little later when Jason Oost tried his luck, pushing the ball away from a corner.
Slory was dangerous at the other end around the midpoint of the second half. His first attempt lacked direction, but two minutes later he forced a save from Wintjes, who pushed his effort onto the bar. The opportunity was no surprise as Feyenoord gradually took control of the game after Fer came on for Sahin.
Yet it was VVV that almost edged ahead not long after. The home side broke quickly and the ball ended up at the feet of Samir El Gaaouiri, who had only Timmer to beat. The keeper distinguished himself with a fine save however to protect his clean sheet.
Feyenoord went all out in the final minutes to claim the spoils and created a number of good chances. Bahia headed against the bar and Fer had the opportunity to finish it off. Despite having time and space in front of Wintjes though, the youngster blasted wide. The home side were playing with their backs to the wall but managed to hold on till the final whistle to loud applause from the crowd. VVV Venlo – Feyenoord 0-0 Bookings:
Van Bronckhorst, Sahin, Bahia, Fleuren Referee:
Wintjens; Mampuya, Reekers, Verdellen, Fleuren; Kahya, Linssen, Auassar (73’ Leemans), Ofrany (68’ El Gaaouiri); Oost (68’ Soltani), Amrabat Feyenoord:
Timmer; Lucius, Hofland, Bahia, De Cler; Sahin (55’ Fer), De Guzman, Van Bronckhorst; Slory, Makaay, Wijnaldum (85’ Mols)