Feyenoord continued their preseason warm-up series with a hard-earned victory against first division Emmen Saturday, winning by the odd goal in five. Michael Mols grabbed the decisive strike for the Rotterdammers on 85 minutes in an evenly matched encounter that also saw Roy Makaay and Jonathan de Guzman get their names on the score-sheet.

The match kicked off 20 minutes late due to traffic congestion around the ground, but Feyenoord certainly didn’t look lethargic from all the hanging around. The visitors struck as early as the fourth minute after a gaffe by home keeper Thomas Villadsen. The Dane thought he could fool the incoming Roy Makaay with a shimmy, but the striker cottoned onto his opponent’s ruse, scooping the ball away from the Scandinavian and giving his side the lead.

Villadsen had the opportunity to atone for his error within two minutes when Makaay threatened to double his tally. The striker beat a defender before smashing in a drive that the home keeper managed to keep out.

Feyenoord were not given much time to enjoy the lead though, as Emmen were level just four minutes later. Mark Bevaart raced past André Bahia – picked to replace Tim de Cler, who was ruled out with a bruised toe – reaching the byline before sending in an inviting cross that Ron Vlaar was unable to clear. The ball fell to Stroeve who netted from close in.

The goal clearly knocked Feyenoord sideways. The Rotterdammers appeared to have the game well under control in the opening stages, but after the equaliser their passing lost some of its precision and there was a lack of fluency in terms of ball circulation. The pace of the game was far too low too, which ultimately allowed Emmen to take the lead on 16 minutes. Some clunky defending from Feyenoord produced a scrum in the Maassiders’ penalty area. Ekramy managed to get his fist to an incoming ball, but Stroeve reacted with an overhead kick that beat the Egyptian and ended up in the back of the net.

Feyenoord didn’t look particularly able to respond. Bert van Marwijk’s men even seemed a little tired from battling against an uncompromising wind. Ekramy was certainly having trouble with the blustery conditions, as evidenced by one of his goal kicks that was blown right to the feet of an Emmen player. The keeper was able to save the resulting long-distance return punt, but the rebound was netted by Geoffrey Verweij and Feyenoord’s blushes were saved only by the assistant referee, who flagged for offside.

Feyenoord were already level by then though, courtesy of Jonathan de Guzman after 25 minutes, who curled a free kick over the wall from around 20 metres out shaving the inside of the post on its way into the goal.

The Eredivisie side started to exert more control in the second half, upping the tempo in possession and exhibiting more individual class from time to time. The Rotterdammers found themselves with more space in the middle of the park, although they were finding it tougher to exploit it. A shot from the right by Slory was the most the visitors could offer for much of the second half.

There were just five minutes left on the clock when the breakthrough finally came. Veteran Michael Mols capped a fine performance after coming off the bench at the break by engineering some space and smashing a drive into the corner of the net from 20 metres out. It edged Feyenoord 3-2 ahead to secure a victory that had looked increasingly unlikely as the game wore on, particularly when Kevin Hofland handled in his own area only for the referee not to see it.

FC Emmen – Feyenoord
4’ Makaay 0-1
8’ Stroeve 1-1
16’ Stroeve 2-1
25’ De Guzman 2-2
85’ Mols 2-3

Bookings: Bevaart, Van der Kruis
Referee: Steegstra

Feyenoord: Ekramy; Lucius (74’ D. Buijs), Vlaar (74’ J. Buijs), Hofland, Bahia (79’ Lensky); Sahin (46’ Hofs), De Guzman (67’ Bruins), Van Bronckhorst (60’ Wijnaldum); Slory, Makaay (46’ Mols), Drenthe (79’ Biseswar)
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