Going into the match, assistant coach John Metgod stated that the squad were growing in confidence all the time and that certainly seemed to be borne out in the opening 45 against the Arnhem outfit. That growing confidence was perhaps best articulated by Dwight Tiendalli, who has developed into a promising left back over the past couple of games, after starting the season so unconvincingly.
Feyenoord looked strong in the first half, creating a number of good opportunities. The first came as early as the third minute when Joonas Kolkka moved inside before testing Harald Wapenaar with a hard drive. The keeper was called to action again six minutes later as the hosts sustained their impressive start. This time Van Hooijdonk got his head to Tiendalli’s cross but could not direct his effort away from the goalie’s hands. Big Pete reprised the role not long after though, this time really pressurising Wapenaar with a powerful header from a Stein Huysegems ball that the keeper had to be at his best to keep out.
The opening goal finally came on 22 minutes and it was the first time Feyenoord had grabbed the first strike of the game since 24 September. Lucius extended De Guxman’s free kick with his head and Bahia was there to get his own head to the ball and send it over the line.
Feyenoord continued to have the upper hand until half time and could have doubled their lead when Danny Buijs drove a shot just wide, although Paul Verhaegh was busy at the other end, shooting into the side netting.
The second half started with Vitesse fired up to show that the three points were anything but secure. First Sebastien Sansoni, then Theo Janssen, had shots on goal, only for Timmer to foil both.
The equaliser did come however, though it wasn’t a candidate for goal of the season exactly. Vitesse refused to play the ball out of play when Greene lay injured on the turf and Lazovic broke on the right, shooting the ball into the near corner to level against his old club.
Referee Braamhaar didn’t do his reputation much good not long after, pulling up the home side when Benson lay on the deck, despite ignoring Greene in a seemingly similar position earlier.
Yet Feyenoord were unwilling to allow the frustration get the better of them and the reward came on 70 minutes. A Hofs free kick found the head of Lucius, who planted his header diagonal across the goal and into the net to give his side the lead back. It was to be the decisive act of the match, as the three points were subsequently never in danger, although Ali Boussaboun might have given his side some extra breathing room when he found himself with a great chance to extend the lead, but the Moroccan could not keep his effort the right side of the post.
Feyenoord – Vitesse 2-1
23’ 1-0 Bahia
58’ 1-1 Lazovic
70’ 2-1 Lucius
Feyenoord: Timmer; Tiendalli, Lucius, Bahia, Greene; Buijs, De Guzman, Hofs (80’ Pardo); Kolkka (75’ Boussaboun), Van Hooijdonk, Huysegems.
Vitesse: Wapenaar; Verhaegh (78’ Swerts), Sansoni, Sprockel, Fränkel; Hersi (49’ Benson/74’ Meulens), Kaya, Janssen; Pryor, Lazovic, Esajas.