Saturday night saw Feyenoord return to winning ways and the top of the Eredivisie table – at least until Ajax play Sunday – with a 2-0 victory at home to Heerenveen. Roy Makaay and Nicky each got their names on the score sheet in the first half and it proved enough for the Rotterdammers, although the visitors had more of the play after the break. Despite Theo Lucius’ availability being uncertain until fifteen minutes before kick-off, the defender started for Feyenoord, alongside Kevin Hofland, who also shook off an injury scare to start.

Coach Bert van Marwijk’s main message ahead of the fixture was that his players had to show more initiative, something that his men exhibited only in the second half against FC Utrecht in the cup. The starting eleven responded to the demand by attacking Heerenveen from kick-off. As a consequence, the visitors decided that the best policy was to dig in and try to weather the storm that Feyenoord brewed up.

The first big chance for the hosts came after just two minutes. Nicky Hofs should have opened the scoring when he had the ball at his feet just five metres or so out, but keeper Brian Vandenbussche saved.

The goal did come after 21 minutes however and André Bahia played a big part in setting it up. The Brazilian found Roy Makaay with a deep pass, but a Heerenveen defender got a foot to the ball, which fell for Luigi Bruins. The youngster took it in his stride, and although his effort hit the post the ball came back out to Makaay, who netted his fifth league goal of the season.

Feyenoord continued on the same path after the goal, although few chances were created all told. One of the biggest fell to Makaay, who shot wide from distance. By that time however the home side were already in their comfort zone after grabbing a second goal. The game was almost half and hour old when Giovanni van Bronckhorst headed the second ball from a corner back into the danger area, where Hofs was waiting to nod it past Vandenbussche and into the net.

It looked to be a solid position for the Rotterdammers going into the break, but the visitors came out in the second half showing more passion. Afonso Alves was one of the main threats for Heerenveen in his first appearance of the season. The Brazilian’s lack of matches was certainly not apparent from his play. He had been on the pitch for less than a quarter of an hour when he sculptured an opportunity for his side, although his hard cross ultimately beat his team-mates.

Roy Beerens went even closer on the hour mark, rattling in a shot from the right side of the penalty area. The ball beat Henk Timmer, but Kevin Hofland was on the line to clear. Ten minutes before time Beerens repeated the trick, with a fifteen-metre drive that Hofland once again managed to get in front of.

Feyenoord were less adventurous than they had been before the break. The hosts did put together some fine passing moves in front of Vandenbussche’d goal, but the final ball was unfailingly missing. A good example was a move that involved Jonathan de Guzman and Tim de Cler, which got the home side into Heerenveen’s penalty area, only to fizz out just a few metres from the goal.

Feyenoord – Heerenveen
21’ Makaay 1-0
27’ Hofs 2-0

Bookings: Zuiverloon, Dingsdag, Bak Nielsen
Referee: Vink

Feyenoord: Timmer; Lucius, Bahia, Hofland, De Cler; Sahin (88’ Greene), Hofs (62’ D. Buijs), Van Bronckhorst; De Guzman, Makaay, Bruins (86’ Mols)
Heerenveen: Vandenbussche; Zuiverloon, Bak Nielsen, Dingsdag (78’Johansen), Breuer; Beerens, Bradley, Prager (46’ Matusiak); Pranjic, Sibon (46’ Alves), Sulejmani
Feyenoord Business CLub