‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord got back to winning ways against FC Twente at De Kuip Thursday four days after the devastating defeat to Ajax. The visitors did set home nerves jangling by taking the lead on the half hour through Sharbel Touma. But Erwin Koeman’s side came out battling after the break, drawing level though Stein Huysegems and then ending FC Twente’s two-month unbeaten run in the last six minutes courtesy of a fine Jonathan de Guzman strike. Nicky Hofs picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and he now misses Sunday’s game at Roda JC.
Feyenoord began enthusiastically, not least striker Stein Huysegems, who sent in a peach of a cross after just three minutes that found Theo Lucius with the time to power in a header that looked like edging the Maassiders in front. But with keeper Sander Boschker beaten Jeroen Heubach managed to clear the effort from the line.
The game settled down into a fairly even affair. Luke Wilkshire (shot) and Blaise N’Kufo (header) both had attempts on behalf of the visitors, but neither effort had precision. It was FC Twente who opened the scoring on 30 minutes however. Lucius managed to clear Ramon Zomer’s header before it crossed the line, but the ball came back via the feet of Touma, who stormed through on Timmer before letting fly with a rasping drive that had goal written all over it the moment it left his foot.
It totally knocked the stuffing out of Koeman’s side. Feyenoord didn’t appear to have any clue when in possession and the out-of-towners responded by threatening to double their lead before the turnaround. Otman Bakkal’s curler was a few short centimetres off target, while Kennedy Bakircioglü saw his own effort parried by Henk Timmer.
The hosts almost pulled a leveller out of the bag themselves in the end. Nicky Hofs sent a free kick sailing towards the corner, only for Boschker to get his glove on it and so protect his clean sheet.
Without the disappointing Philippe Léonard and with De Guzman in the team, Feyenoord experienced a dream restart after the break. Danny Buijs set up Huysegems with a scoring chance and the Belgian didn’t wait for an invitation, slamming the ball past Boschker for the equaliser.
Feyenoord suddenly looked like a team and Boschker had to be on his guard three times in quick succession soon after, when Hofs, Huysegems and De Guzman all tested the visitors’ keeper.
The home offensive last fifteen minutes, but the Rotterdammers were unable to keep up the pressure, although they did have most of the ball. There was however every reason to stay firmly focused as FC Twente tried to counter as often as possible.
Koeman will have been aware of this when he decided to throw on an extra striker in the guise of Ali Boussaboun for midfielder. The coach was clearly more concerned about securing all three points for the first time since the first of the month.
In the end though it was not the Moroccan, but another player originally kept out of the starting line-up, Canadian De Guzman who laid claim to the honour of shooting Feyenoord ahead for the first time in the game. The young midfielder’s curling free kick left Boschker clutching at air and released an upsurge of joy on the pitch and in the stands that De Kuip has not seen too much this season.
Feyenoord’s lead was threatened in the final moments, but Timmer pulled off a quality save to deny Engelaar and keep the points for his team.
Feyenoord – FC Twente 2-1
30’ 0-1 Touma
46’ 1-1 Huysegems
84’ 2-1 De Guzman
Yellow: Hofs, De Guzman, Heubach, Zomer
Feyenoord: Timmer; Tiendalli, Greene, Bahia, Léonard (46’ De Guzman); Lucius, Buijs, Hofs (80’ Boussaboun); Vincken (75’ Kolkka), Charisteas, Huysegems.
FC Twente: Boschker; Wilkshire, Wielaert, Zomer, Heubach (72’ Wellenberg); Oude Kamphuis (80’ Brama), Bakkal (76’ Sibum), Engelaar; Bakircioglü, N’Kufo, Touma.