VAN HOOIJDONK SALVAGES POINT

A late goal from Pierre van Hooijdonk earned a point for Feyenoord Sunday at De Kuip against Roda JC. Erwin Koeman’s side were heading for a second league defeat of the season against the Kerkrade outfit, when the big man nodded in the equaliser to cancel out Sekou Cissé’s opener early in the second half. The match saw Pieter Collen come off the bench to return to action after six months on the sidelines, but first-choice keeper Henk Timmer missed the tussle for personal reasons. Sherif Ekramy took his place.

The point safeguards Feyenoord’s six-point cushion in fifth place over the following pack, Heerenveen, Roda JC and NAC Breda.

Feyenoord threw away two points in The Hague, but at least they provided an afternoon of entertainment in the process. To call the first half against Roda JC entertaining would have been to test the robustness of the trade descriptions act. That was bad news, but also good for Feyenoord, who looked secure at the back for the first time in a while. The real downer was the performance in the front lines, where the Rotterdammers looked incapable of worrying their opponents. There was no creativity and as such no gilt-edge chances to talk of from open play.

That said, the home side did almost take the lead on 27 minutes from a corner. Danny Buijs headed towards goal only to see his effort blocked. The ball ricocheted around a forest of legs before falling to Bahia, who swiped at it, but the Brazilian’s shot took another deflection and whizzed over the bar.

Roda JC threatened Ekramy’s goal from time to time. Adil Ramzi volleyed over after five minutes. And Cissé was dangerous just ahead of the twenty-minute mark, when he skipped past Greene and rattled in a shot that Feyenoord’s stand-in keeper was able to deal with.

Ekramy was called to action after the break too, but this time the Egyptian was forced to pull off a more demanding save when Bas Sibum drove. Feyenoord were creating chances of their own too though. First Jonathan de Guzman attempted to break the deadlock with a free kick effort. That resulted in a corner, which André Bahia got his head to, only to see the ball cleared off the line by Kemy Augustien.

Feyenoord were the stronger team immediately after the turnaround, but were unable to convert their dominance into goals. Indeed, it was Roda JC that ultimately took the lead eleven minutes into the second half. Cissé broke on the left and rifled in a shot across Ekramy and into the far corner.

Buijs had two opportunities to bring Feyenoord level soon after. He fluffed the first and as Van Hooijdonk waited to replace him on the touchline, he failed to keep his second effort down when he was just a few metres from the goal.

Feyenoord felt they were entitled to a leveller and coach Koeman urged his team forward, but it seemed the hosts did not have luck on their side, especially when referee Van Sichem waved away claims for a penalty. The decision angered the home support and temperatures started to rise in the stands. So when Van Hooijdonk popped up with seven minutes left on the clock to nod in the equaliser and save a point an emotional wave swept through De Kuip.

Feyenoord – Roda JC 1-1
56’ 0-1 Cissé
83’ 1-1 Van Hooijdonk

Bookings: Buijs, Vincken, Van Hooijdonk, Vlaar, Drenthe, Kah, De Fauw, Castro
Referee: Van Sichem

Feyenoord: Ekramy; Greene, Vlaar, Lucius (58’ Collen), Bahia; Buijs (65’ Van Hooijdonk), De Guzman, Drenthe; Castelen, Charisteas, Kolkka (72’ Vincken)
Roda JC: Castro; Saeijs (74’ Leemans), Kah, De Fauw, Lachambre; Sibum, Agustien (74; Bouchiba), Meeuwis; Oper, Cissé, Ramzi
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