The way Feyenoord started in Nijmegen suggested that a sixth successive Eredivisie victory was well within their grasp. In the early stages the Rotterdammers looked as hungry and passionate as in midweek draw against Blackburn Rovers, but the tide was unfortunately not slow in turning during the first 45 at the McDOS Goffert Stadium.
NEC lacked concentration early on, giving the ball away far too often, but Feyenoord soon adopted the custom themselves, allowing Mario Been’s side the opportunity to claw their way back into the match. After a shot by Nicky Hofs, which sailed over, the home side essentially took control. The NEC offensive was launched with a Holman shot after 20 minutes. Henk Timmer saved at the expense of a corner.
That was the trigger for Feyenoord’s day to go pear-shaped big time. Mistakes were abundant in the visitors’ play, and the main offenders where Jonathan de Guzman and Dwight Tiendalli. Poor defending generated a chance for NEC on 28 minutes, when Niedzielan was given the time and space to set up Holman. The direction of the Australian’s shot was anticipated by Timmer however and Feyenoord survived. Niedzielan, Pothuizen and Holman all endeavoured to make up for the miss before half time, but Timmer and a lack of sharpness in front of goal prevented the hosts from taking the lead.
Just after the break Feyenoord threatened themselves, when Angelos Charisteas rifled off an impressive shot and there was a fleeting feeling that the Rotterdammers might be able to get a better grip on proceedings. But it was an illusion, because it was Timmer that continued to be the busier of the two keepers after the turnaround.
The Dutch international kept his side on level terms with a reflex save that denied Wisgerhof, but his exploits were ultimately insufficient to keep the home side from taking a deserved lead. The match was 54 minutes old when Holman finished off another NEC attack with a hard diagonal drive that swept into the net.
Feyenoord were close to reeling NEC back in not long after but Jonathan de Guzman’s shot lacked power and Ferne Snoyl was able to clear his lines.
Koeman waited until midway through the half before switching things round as he brought on Pierre van Hooijdonk to hopefully stiffen up his attacking options, but even with the big man up front Feyenoord were found lacking.
The Maassiders could have been thankful for being only a goal behind with seven minutes to go, but all that would change by the time referee Vink got round to blowing the final whistle, as NEC ran in three goals before the end. André Bahia and Serginho Greene both failed to dispossess Niedzielan and the Pole sent in a hard shot that Timmer managed to parry, only for Eagles to pounce on the rebound to double his side’s lead.
The third and fourth goals came in quick succession. First Kivuvu found the net with a wonderfully straight effort that Timmer was left flapping at, before Niedzielan made it four. Feyenoord did grab a consolation at the death, but even that was scored by a home player, as Pothuizen put through his own goal. NEC-Feyenoord 4-1
54’ Holman 1-0
80’ Eagles 2-0
83’ Kivuvu 3-0
86’ Niedzielan 4-0
90’ Pothuizen 4-1 (o.g.)
Bookings: Greene, Niedzielan
Feyenoord: Timmer; Tiendalli (75’ Pardo), Greene, Bahia, Drenthe; De Guzman, Derijck (68’ Van Hooijdonk), Hofs; Kolkka, Charisteas, Huysegems (58’ Boussaboun)
NEC: Babos; Nalbantoglu, Wisgerhof, Otten, El-Akchaoui; Kivuvu, Pothuizen, Snoyl (86’ Worm), Holman (74’ Eagles); Denneboom (77’ Barreto), Niedzielan