‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord had a good opportunity to take all three points in Waalwijk Sunday despite going two goals down within a half hour to home goals by Patrick van Diemen and Martijn Reuser. The Rotterdammers muscled their way back into the game with strikes by Ali Boussaboun and Theo Lucius, the latter a penalty after some good work by Karim Saidi, but in the end Erwin Koeman’s side had to do with a point.
Feyenoord could have grabbed a dream start with a goal inside the first minute, but Angelos Charisteas was unable to get his second goal in two games after scoring for the Greek national side in midweek, pulling his shot wide when he found himself in acres of space and the ball at his feet in the home penalty area after 55 seconds.
The miss was an expensive one because the home side recovered to take control of the game. The first goal finally came on 21 minutes, when Van Diemen broke through the visitors’ defence to latch onto a Ruud Burger through pass and smash the ball passed Henk Timmer to give RKC the lead.
Seven minutes later Charisteas was rueing his early imprecision even more, as Martijn Reuser’s free kick whizzed through a crowd of players to beat an unsighted Timmer and double the home side’s lead.
At that juncture it looked like Feyenoord were nose-diving to their third league loss of the current campaign, not least because the home side continued to push forward. Yet the Rotterdammers were able to take themselves out of freefall and mount a serious challenge of their own. The results were not long in coming.
First Boussaboun slammed a cross by Hofs into the net off the post to bring Feyenoord within range on 38; then Karim Saidi got himself in a threatening position in the box on the stroke of half time. He was clearly dangerous enough for two defenders to sandwich the Tunisian in the hopes of neutralising his threat. Referee Van Sichem didn’t like what he saw and pointed to the spot. Theo Lucius stepped up to the plate to level things.
The second half started in much the same way as the first and for a while it looked as though more goals were inevitable. It was not to be however, as the game hit a wall after Reuser had forced a save out of Timmer. The chances dried up, although Feyenoord had a clear grip on proceedings.
When the next opportunity did arrive it was for RKC however. The match was 69 minutes old when Reuser popped up again to shoot, but Timmer was up to it once more, saving impressively. And when Vicelich tried his luck with a drive not long after, the Feyenoord keeper confirmed that he was having a good day by saving that too.
Sebastián Pardo and Jonathan de Guzman had a shot each before the end, but neither was able to get their attempts on target and the game ended without further score.
RKC Waalwijk – Feyenoord 2-2
21’ 1-0 Van Diemen
28’ 2-0 Reuser
38’ 2-1 Boussaboun
45’ 2-2 Lucius (pen)
Yellow: Greene, Buijs, De Guzman, Hofs, Van Haaren, Reuser, Keller, Van Diemen
Referee: Van Sichem
RKC Waalwijk: Van Dijk; Van Diemen, Bakens (46’ Mulder, Keller, Van Haaren; Koenders, Vicelich, Reuser, Berger; Ikedia (85’ Remacle), Janssen (81’ Van den Bergh).
Feyenoord: Timmer; Buijs, Greene, Saidi, Drenthe; Hofs (77’ Tiendalli), Pardo, Lucius, De Guzman; Boussaboun, Charisteas.