Feyenoord wrapped up 2006 with an Eredivisie win at city neighbours Excelsior Friday night to move up to fourth in the league for a few hours at least. Erwin Koeman saw his side secure a 3-1 triumph with goals by Danny Buijs, Nicky Hofs and Stein Huysegems. Johan Voskamp replied for the hosts when the game was already won. It was a timely away win for Feyenoord after three successive defeats on their travels in a match that saw Alfred Schreuder return to action after a long time on the sidelines.

Erwin Koeman’s side never looked in trouble against their neighbours and allies at Woudestein Stadium. The visitors were clearly in control from the first minute, although it took a while before the chances started to flow. Besides a Ron Vlaar shot that the defender failed to keep down Feyenoord were not much of a threat in the opening stages. But just after the quarter hour mark, the Masssiders started to find their attacking feet.

It was Angelos Charisteas who created the first opportunity for the red and whites and it would be the first of many in a short space of time. The Greek beat two home players with a simple shimmy before moving past René van Dieren to engineer space for a shot, but not for the first time Charisteas’ finish did not live up to the billing, whizzing metres wide. Charisteas got back in the saddle just three minutes later though, picking up André Bahia’s pass and shooting, only to see the ball take a slight deflection and go wide. Huysegems joined the shooting party on 28 minutes, turning and driving, but the effort went over.

The goal finally came just past the half hour. Jonathan de Guzman played in Buijs with a clever ball that set the Belgian up with a shooting chance of his own. Jos van Nieuwstadt tried to stop Buijs from letting rip with a flying tackle, but the defender bided his time until he was free in front of keeper Theo Zwarthoed, before placing the ball into the near corner.

The second goal came just before the break, but this one was not as attractive as its older brother. Zwarthoed was so kind as to play the ball into the feet of Hofs, who whipped the ball straight back into the goal. Hofs smiled innocently, celebrating the strike modestly.

The third goal was met with more enthusiasm in the Feyenoord camp. The game was fifty minutes old when Charisteas set up Huysegems, who left Zwarthoed chanceless with a diagonal drive.

Feyenoord took their foot off the pedal after that and the home side set up the odd attack of their own, although there was little danger until 80 minutes in. Henk Timmer had not been asked to do much at all for the vast majority of the encounter, but he still found himself picking the ball out of the net when Piqué’s shot ricocheted to Voskamp, who was composed enough to knock it into the net despite having just come on.

The goal came just after the best moment of the night when Alfred Schreuder came on for De Guzman to complete his comeback after almost eighteen months of injury misery. The midfielder entered the field of play to loud applause from the travelling support.

Huysegems could have restored Feyenoord’s three-goal cushion, but Zwarthoed parried the Belgian’s effort. When all was said and done though, the three points were never going anywhere but to the other side of Rotterdam.

Excelsior – Feyenoord 1-3
31’ Buijs 0-1
40’ Hofs 0-2
50’ Huysegems 0-3
80’ Voskamp 1-3

Referee: Haverkort

Feyenoord: Timmer; Buijs, Vlaar, Bahia, Drenthe; Lucius, Hofs, De Guzman (80’ Schreuder) Kolkka (66’ Vincken), Charisteas, Huysegems
Excelsior: Zwarthoed; Bandjar, Jansen, Van Nieuwstadt, Zijm; Bruins, Van Dieren, Drost (85’ Simr); Steur (66’ Grot), Dijkhuizen (80’ Voskamp), Piqué
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