‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Erwin Koeman and Co ultimately secured their place in the third round of the KNVB Cup Thursday, but it was a hard-fought victory for the Rotterdammers, who has Ali Boussaboun to thank for a last-gasp winner. Feyenoord went behind to their first division hosts just ahead of the quarter-hour, but Theo Lucius and André Bahia eased Feyenoord into the driving seat, only to see Erwin Buurmeijer level things up midway through the second half. In the end though the margin could have been more comfortable, as Feyenoord had two goals disallowed.
The cup game started as the most recent league game had ended: with a refereeing mistake. Sunday’s game was blemished by the man in the middle’s decision to rule out a perfectly good Feyenoord equaliser at the death and at Langeleegte stadium it was Pierre van Hooijdonk’s turn to be denied a rightful goal. The game was ten minutes in when the striker connected with a Danny Buijs cross to shoot the ball against the underside of the bar and over the line, but referee Nijhuis and his assistant were not on the ball, letting play continue to the dismay of the visiting contingent.
In the end it was the home side that nudged ahead two minutes later. Karim Saidi was caught out by a throw and saw Kassim Bizimana collect the ball and race towards Henk Timmer, who couldn’t hinder the attacker from sliding the ball into the net.
Koeman’s side conceded an early goal for the third match in succession, but this time they didn’t concede a second shortly after. As the game wore on Feyenoord got more and more into their stride and the equaliser was not long in coming. Joonas Kolkka, Nicky Hofs and Van Hooijdonk were all involved in the build up, and when the ball broke to Lucius the club captain was more than happy to shoot diagonally past Diteweg.
The goal seemed to deflate the first division side, although Bizimana and especially Ruben Schaken continued to cause problems. Schaken showed soon nice close control, which entertained the crowd and even threatened to turn into something more dangerous at times. At the other end, Joonas Kolkka demonstrated Nordic functionalism with crosses that were much more penetrating.
Feyenoord were unable to really put their mark on the match before the turnaround however, which led Koeman to leave De Guzman in the locker room at the break. He was replaced by Ali Boussaboun and the Moroccan immediately looked to be more up for it than the Canadian. Keeper Diteweg’s attempt to clear his line on 53 was thwarted when the ball rattled off Boussaboun and the striker tapped the ball into the empty net, but the referee decided that goals that easy must be wrong, ruling the effort out for unclear reasons.
It was just a matter of time though and the Rotterdammers finally got their noses in front on 66. Hofs surprised the home defence with a quick free kick, passing to Buijs, who looked to have done enough to get the ball over the line, although Bahia followed through to be sure.
Yet Feyenoord found themselves pegged back within five minutes. Bizimana served the perfect ball up for Buurmeijer, who shot hard and true past Timmer to make it twos-apiece.
Timmer ensured that things didn’t go from bad to worse when he beat out Bizimana’s header with a fine reflex save just before the end of the ninety minutes. But there was still time for the decider. Lucius supplied the pass and Boussaboun the finish, smashing his angled drive off the inside of the post and in to put Feyenoord into the third-round draw.
Veendam – Feyenoord 2-3
14’ 1-0 Bizimana
26’ 1-1 Lucius
66’ 1-2 Bahia
71’ 2-2 Buurmeijer
89’ 2-3 Boussaboun
Yellow: Kolder, Schaken
BV Veendam: Diteweg; Cijntje, Wiekens (90’ Drent), Krstev (55’ Van Dalen), De Vries; Schaken (87’ Van der Meulen), Loohuis, Lip, Buurmeijer; Kolder, Bizimana.
Feyenoord: Timmer; Tiendalli (76’ Vincken), Greene, Saidi, Bahia; Buijs, Hofs, Lucius, De Guzman (46’ Boussaboun); Van Hooijdonk, Kolkka.