Feyenoord went down to a 1-0 defeat in their first Europa League Group G match against Rangers on Thursday night. Head coac...
Feyenoord continued their dismal tradition of dropping points to sides lingering near the foot of the Eredivisie with an embarrassing reverse in The Hague Sunday. The Rotterdammers fell behind within two minutes when Geert den Ouden punished Pascal Bosschaart’s handball in the box by slotting home the resulting penalty. And while Feyenoord did manage to draw level in the second half through Salomon Kalou, Alberto Saavedra earned all the points for the hosts with ten minutes left to leave Erwin Koeman shaking his head.
The coach felt he needed to remind his side that there are no easy games in the Eredivisie ahead of the Hague match-up, after the shocking display in Roosendaal just two weeks ago. Yet all those words of warning were lost in the tumult after less than a minute. The clock had ticked just thirty-nine times when Bosschaart showed a great deal of clumsiness in controlling the ball with his hands in his own box to gift the home side a penalty. Geert den Ouden stepped up to strike the spot kick past Lodewijks.
The early gift gave ADO a lease of life that coach Koeman was hoping they would never be allowed as Feyenoord found themselves chasing the game against a supposedly less gifted outfit once again. Frans Adelaar’s team were certainly willing to work hard to protect their lead and they were helped by Feyenoord’s apparent lack of confidence in the face of adversity.
Feyenoord – joint league leaders going into the weekend – created just two opportunities in the first forty-five, and sloppy finishing meant that neither were taken. First, Jonathan de Guzman appeared surprised to find himself with just keeper Dorus de Vries to beat after a fine pass by Serginho Greene, and De Vries was able to mop things up. Then, with the break seconds away Boussaboun hooked up well with Kalou and Kuyt before shooting wide.
There were other patches of discomfort for the home side – shots by Kalou and Kuyt that didn’t really threaten and free kick by Patrick Paauwe that did, but De Vries managed to keep the effort out of the goal.
When it was shown that the Rotterdammers were not up to the task of taking the game by the scruff of the neck at the start of the second period, coach Koeman decided to bring on the young Diego Biseswar for Hossam Ghlay. With the striker waiting on the sideline to replace the midfielder Michael Mols had a great chance to give the visitors a real headache, but happily Lodewijks managed to keep the score down.
The introduction of the seventeen-year-old did little to rein in the home side, but Feyenoord did manage to get back on level terms on 67, when De Guzman’s cross found Kalou, who nodded past keeper De Vries. That should perhaps have knocked the stuffing out of the Eredivisie strugglers and inspired the visitors to bigger and better things, but the home side showed they would not be satisfied with a point against their high-flying neighbours. The result was an attacking last twenty-five or so.
Den Ouden was the first to rattle in a potential match-winning effort, only to see Lodewijks scramble to parry his shot at the last moment. At the other end, Greene should have put the Maassiders in front with a quarter of an hour left, but De Vries got his toes to the defender’s drive.
As the game ebbed and flowed, ADO’s Verhoek was selfish enough to go it alone when he should have set up a better placed Den Ouden and Feyenoord were let off the hook, but within a few minutes the Rotterdammers had the noose around their neck. This time it was Saavedra who powered in a header from a corner to the delight of the home crowd.
The blow brought an immediate response from Feyenoord, as Sebastián Pardo was brought on for the disappointing Alexander Östlund. Yet it was the home side that had the chance to put the game beyond the visitors’ reach when Saavedra was again allowed a free header, but this time Lodewijks was able to parry. In the end though, two goals were all ADO needed to carry off all three points.
ADO Den Haag – Feyenoord 2-1
2´ 1-0 Den Ouden (pen)
67´ 1-1 Kalou
79´ 2-1 Saavredra
ADO Den Haag: De Vries; Rijaard, Saeijs, Saavreda, El-Akchaoui; Stroeve, Rankovic, Van der Leegte, Kolkka; Den Ouden (84´ Elia), Mols (73´ Verhoek).
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Östlund (84´ Pardo), Greene, Bahia, Bosschaart; Ghaly (58´ Biseswar), Paauwe, De Guzman; Boussaboun, Kuyt, Kalou.