Erwin Koeman’s Feyenoord came from behind twice at De Kuip Sunday before Piere van Hooijdonk irrevocably turned the match to Feyenoord’s favour with what turned out to be the winner, with his two-hundredth goal in the Dutch league. It was the only strike of the second half, after goals by Danny Buijs and Nicky Hofs for Feyenoord, and Maceo Rigters and Mike Zonneveld for NAC in the opening 45. Former De Kuip favourite Leonardo claimed two assists.

The Brazilian caught the eye with a fine individual action as early as the thirteenth minute, slipping past Royston Drenthe on the wing before outpacing Serginho Greene too. Leonardo played the ball in so well that Rigters only had to let the ball ricochet off his foot to give NAC the lead. He did not disappoint.

NAC were clearly happy to play on the counter and the goal appeared to justify that. Feyenoord had most of the ball, but found it hard to find a way through the visitor’s defence. But with the match a half hour old Theo Lucius found himself with the time to knock in a tasty cross that Danny Buijs converted to score the first goal of his Feyenoord career.

Leonardo was unhappy enough with the two home players for taking the attention away from him to demand it back with interest. The Brazilian sped to the by-line on the left, before sending in a ball that Edwin de Graaf should have easily knocked in, but when he didn’t Leonardo did his trick again a little later, this time finding the head of Zonneveld, who powered the ball past Timmer.

The new blow failed to knock Feyenoord off course however, as the Rotterdammers showed resilience not for the first time this season. It resulted in an equaliser on the stroke of half time. Pardo played his free kick out to Buijs, who rattled in a shot that Edwin Zoetebier couldn’t cope with and Nicky Hofs slotted the rebound into the net.

Leonardo was back in the thick of the action in the second half and looked like giving his third assist of the match when his pass put Edwin de Graaf through on Timmer, but the keeper reacted well to prevent the visitors from going into the lead again.

While Timmer had managed to keep his side on level terms, Zoetebier was unable to reproduce the trick at the other hand just after. The former Feyenoord number one was to blame for the home side’s second goal and it was his error that allowed the Maassiders to move ahead for the first time on 63. Zoetebier should have held on to a shot by Hofs, but when he failed to Van Hooijdonk pounced to smash the ball in off the bottom side of the bar.

It proved to be the decisive turning point in the game as Feyenoord cruised through the final half hour or so with little resistance from the visitors. Hofs might even have wrapped up the points early with a lob, but this time Zoetebier was able to save.

Feyenoord – NAC Breda 3-2
13’ 0-1 Rigters
32’ 1-1 Buijs
37’ 1-2 Zonneveld
44’ 2-2 Hofs
63’ 3-2 Van Hooijdonk

Yellow: Vincken, Pardo, Lucius, Stam, Leonardo, Diba

Referee: Bossen
Feyenoord: Timmer; Buijs, Saidi, Greene, Drenthe; Hofs, Pardo, Lucius, De Guzman (46’ Vincken); Boussaboun (90’ Huysegems), Van Hooijdonk (78’ Charisteas).

NAC Breda: Zoetebier; Elshot, Penders, Zwaanswijk, Mtiliga; De Graaf (73’ Slot), Mathijssen, Zonneveld (Petö); Rigters (57’ Diba), Leonardo, Pinas.

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