Asked whether he could be congratulated after Saturday’s 2-1 win against AZ, Giovanni van Bronckhorst said that he would ...
Feyenoord did their best to spoil PSV’s title party Wednesday, taking a point from the Philips Stadium in a one-all draw. Romeo Castelen fired Erwin Koeman’s side into the lead not long after the break, but the home side levelled matters with twenty minutes left to leave each side with a point. Feyenoord earned their draw without talisman Dirk Kuyt, who missed his first Eredivisie game since 18 March 2001 due to a foot injury, although Christian Gyan did start for the first time this season, instead of Pieter Collen.
The absence of Kuyt and the inclusion Gyan were surprising, but so too was the inclusion on the bench of Patrick Lodewijks, for the first time since being forced out of the FC Groningen game. Another striking absentee was Nicky Hofs.
Gyan grabbed the attention early when he made a strange lunge at the ball as Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink stormed in to meet a cross. The Ghanaian was happy to see his unorthodox header go out for a corner. PSV were the most dangerous of the two teams in the opening quarter of an hour, and that resulted in two major chances for the home outfit. Arouna Koné was close to giving his side the lead nine minutes in, when the Ivoriaan gave Ron Vlaar the runaround before rifling in a hard shot that he couldn’t keep down. The goal looked to have arrived six minutes later. Jonathan de Guzman went to ground and expected to get a free kick, but referee Bossen let the game continue. Vennegoor looked odds on to nod in Damarcus Beasley’s ensuing cross only to miss the ball entirely.
The howler appeared to wake Feyenoord up and the visitors got more of a grip on the match as a consequence, despite the fact that Erwin Koeman’s side were clearly missing Dirk Kuyt in the centre of attack. Ali Boussaboun was responsible for the first Rotterdam opportunity, but his shot whisked wide of the mark. In the closing minutes of the first half both sides sculptured serious chances. Jason Culina’s shot on behalf of the hosts lacked accuracy, while the guests perhaps should have taken the lead on 41. Fine linkup play by Kalou and Romeo Castelen created a good chance for the Dutchman, but a lack of sharpness by Castelen – not the first time this season – allowed Gomes to smother the danger.
Castelen has been unable to find the reason for his lack productivity in recent weeks, but he may remember the Philips Stadium as the place he found the answer. The speedy striker showed a clean set of heels after the break, skinning three home defenders to create a shooting opportunity for himself. The way he took the chance expressed a lot of self-confidence and self-conviction too, as Castelen’s hard diagonal drive left Gomes clutching at air and Feyenoord a goal ahead.
In the December meeting between the club’s Dirk Kuyt’s goal unleashed a vehement response from the Eindhoven outfit that the Rotterdammers were fortunate to survive, but this time the reigning – and new-crowned – champions had little to offer. All in all, it was the visitors who looked the most threatening, although a lack of precision prevented Feyenoord from increasing their lead
PSV’s first chance after the break came twenty-six minutes in, but it did produce a goal. Sherif Ekramy looked to have kept his side in the driving seat with a fine save from an Alex header, but the ball fell to the vastly experienced Phillip Cocu, who made sure that the Egyptian had no chance second time round. The home side took control of the game after the equaliser, but Feyenoord did have a fantastic chance to inflict PSV’s first home defeat of the season. Serginho Greene’s 87-minute strike bounced off the underside of the bar to safety though and the sides finished the game with honours even.
PSV – Feyenoord 1-1
51’ 0-1 Castelen
71’ 1-1 Cocu
PSV: Gomes; Lamey, Addo, Alex, Ball; Väyrynen (64’ Afellay), Cocu, Culina (79’ Lucius); Beasley (56’ Beerens), Vennegoor of Hesselink, Koné.
Feyenoord: Ekramy; Gyan, Vlaar, Bahia, Bosschaart; Paauwe, Greene, De Guzman; Castelen, Kalou (67’ Van Hooijdonk), Boussaboun.