Asked whether he could be congratulated after Saturday’s 2-1 win against AZ, Giovanni van Bronckhorst said that he would ...
2006 started in the best possible way for Erwin Koeman and Co as Feyenoord bagged three points at Vitesse for the first time in eleven years. The Rotterdammers’ goal came from the head of André Bahia. Despite controlling most of the game, Feyenoord had to revert to some resolute defending to secure all the spoils as the game reached its climax. Ron Vlaar made his debut for the Maassiders, as did youth player Royston Drenthe, who came on as substitute for the final fifteen.
Feyenoord’s last victory at Vitesse was earned with goals by Ronald Koeman and Peter Bosz back in December 1995, more than two years before Vitesse moved to their Gelredome Stadium. So with Feyenoord once more fighting it out in the highest reaches of the Eredivisie it appeared time to bury that particular hoodoo good and proper.
It certainly looked as though that mission was uppermost in Feyenoord’s minds, as Erwin Koeman’s side came out of the blocks with real fire in their bellies. The result was a bunch of chances in the first half, as the Arnhem outfit was restricted to a few long-distance drives. Remco van der Schaaf was responsible for two of them, but Patrick Lodewijks was not troubled by either. Neither was a header by Mads Junker the cause of undue concern, although the initial move was delightful. Lodewijks was also called into action to keep out Eldridge Rojer’s effort, but had little to do otherwise.
By that time however Feyenoord already had the lead as André Bahia rose to nod home a Jonathan de Guzman corner just ahead of the half-hour mark. It could even have been Feyenoord’s second of the afternoon, because Dirk Kuyt spurned a good chance to open the scoring, stumbling over keeper Harald Wapenaar. Patrick Paauwe also had a go, but his shot had too much height. If one thing was clear it was that Feyenoord had the game under control.
The roles were reversed after the break though as Vitesse upped their game, pushing Feyenoord back into their own half in search of an equaliser. It took visitors twenty minutes to get a shot off, but Kalou’s effort went wide.
The home side on the other hand looked more and more dangerous as the half wore on. The first chance fell to Rojer, who almost shaved the bar within a minute of the restart. Rojer it was again on the hour who looked to have put his side on level terms, but with the home fans already celebrating Lodewijks did just enough to psych out the midfielder in a one-on-one and Rojer put his attempt into the side-netting.
Edward Sturing was helpful enough to take off Vitesse’s biggest threat with a quarter of an hour left, as Rojer was replaced by Gluscevic. The home coach was hoping to give his team an offensive impulse, but the next opportunity came at the other end. Wapenaar had to work hard to beat out Kalou’s shot and the home defence had a nervous time of it trying to clear their lines. By that time the 18-year-old Royston Drenthe had been brought on for the visitors.
As the clock counted down the final five minutes of the encounter Kalou let rip again, but this time the striker’s effort lacked precision, drifting wide. Not long after Drenthe powered in a drive that Wapenaar watched whisk over to the relief of the home support.
Vitesse pulled out all the stops to get back on terms and preserve their impressive home record the Rotterdammers, but Feyenoord were resilient at the back and the home side were not having any joy. Just before the end Vlaar safeguarded the points by whisking the ball off the foot of the incoming Dingsdag to give the Maassiders an historic victory.
Vitesse – Feyenoord 0-1
28’ 0-1 Bahia
Vitesse: Wapenaar; Swerts, Dingsdag, Knol, Fränkel; Rojer (74’ Gluscevic), Janssen, Knopper, Van der Schaaf; Benson, Junker (62’ De Mul).
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Greene, Vlaar, Bahia, Bosschaart; Paauwe, De Guzman, Pardo; Biseswar (76’ Drenthe), Kuyt, Kalou.