‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord slipped to the second defeat in four days, going out of the Gatorade Cup in the last-sixteen stage in Kerkrade Wednesday. The only goal of the game came after half-an-hour courtesy of Sergio. Dirk Kuyt went closest for the Maassiders, hitting a post in the first half in a game that saw Pieter Collen make his first appearance for the club in three and a half years.
Erwin Koeman axed Alexander Östlund for the visit to Kerkrade, handing Belgium’s Pieter Collen his first start since May 2002. Another victim of the weekend Hague horror show was Pascal Bosschaart – as, just like a month ago, Koeman opted to put three defenders up against home strikers Andres Oper and Sekou Cissé.
The policy looked to be paying off early on, although as the match panned out the Rotterdammers lost the initiative. The first half hour was all Feyenoord, but the visitors managed to create just one major opportunity, when Salomon Kalou played in Dirk Kuyt, who rattled in a karate-kick effort.
It could have been a great goal, but the post denied the striker and Kalou was unable to net the rebound. The visitors had to wait until the stroke of half time before they threatened again. This time it was Kalou who twice went close, but the young attacker was unable to keep his shot down either time.
By that time the home side were already ahead, though the breakthrough didn’t come through weight of chances, as Roda were just as lacklustre up front. Patrick Lodewijks had blocked Sergio’s shot just before the half hour, but he was unable to repeat the trick a couple of minutes later as the Brazilian crept in front of his fellow countryman André Bahia and smashed a Cissé cross into the goal to give his side the lead.
Feyenoord needed some time to recover from the blow, but came out looking more decisive in the second half. Patrick Paauwe took on a leading role and it was no coincidence that it was the experienced midfielder who threatened Vladan Kujovic’s goal, rattling off two efforts that were hard but not quite true. The home keeper was also called upon to keep out Sebastián Pardo’s free kick as Feyenoord continued to look strong but not truly dangerous.
Koeman responded by bringing on Diego Biseswar, in the hope perhaps that the 17-year-old would score as he had done of his Feyenoord debut on 20 November. It was not to be however. Kuyt had a chance to get a shot off in a packed penalty area in stoppage time, but was unable to pack much punch into his effort.
At the other end Sergio might have doubled his side’s lead if Lodewijks hadn’t got himself in the way. The keeper was also called upon to keep out efforts by Bodor and Oper, showing his class for the umpteenth time, albeit for nothing, as Feyenoord found themselves out of the cup before Christmas.
Roda JC – Feyenoord 1-0
31´ 1-0 Sergio
Roda JC: Kujovic; Lachambre, Vicelich, Kah, Senden; Bodor, Sergio (90´ Sonko), Van Dijk, Leemans; Oper, Cissé (80´ Cristiano).
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Collen, Greene, Bahia; Ghaly (71´ Biseswar), Paauwe, De Guzman, Pardo; Boussaboun, Kuyt, Kalou.