‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
A last-minute goal knocked Feyenoord off top spot in the league Sunday as the Rotterdammers went down in Waalwijk. Virgilio Teixeira’s strike meant it was an unhappy return to RKC for Erwin Koeman, who saw his side draw level late in the game through Romeo Castelen after Maarten Martens had given the home side a first-half lead. The game also marked Maikel Aerts’s debut in a Feyenoord shirt after Patrick Loodewijks failed to make the cut.
Aerts might have imagined a better first forty-five as the home side bombarded the visitors’ goal. Martens had two pot shots at the debutant, both of which whisked wide, while Rick Hoogendorp and Stephan Keller each tested the aluminium. Counting Keller’s header, Aerts certainly was a busy man in the opening half.
The home side finally made the breakthrough on the half hour when Martens found the target at the third attempt, curling his effort over Aerts, who was helpless.
It was a tough first period for Feyenoord, yet if Dirk Kuyt had converted his chance after just thirty seconds when he found himself with only the keeper to beat it could have been a different story.
In the end, it was one of three Feyenoord opportunities before the break. Kalou’s free kick was the second, but that was meat and drink for keeper Van Dijk. The third was a little more of a test for the home goalie, as Feyenoord’s best man Ghaly created an opening for himself, but Van Dijk was up to it.
Koeman had to act to force the issue, so Patrick Paauwe stayed in the dressing room as Ali Boussaboun came on after the turnaround. That seemed to do the trick as Feyenoord looked more aggressive at the start of the second half. The first chance was not long in coming. Kuyt set up Castelen and the right attacker powered in a hard drive that keeper Van Dijk managed to turn round for a corner.
But it was only after the hour that the visitors really started to push on. Robert Fuchs was so kind as to pass the ball to the feet of Castelen, but Van Dijk was up to the challenge again.
The biggest chance came three minutes later, but again the Maassiders failed to turn it into a goal. This time it was Kuyt who got his head onto a Castelen cross, but the effort went wide. Feyenoord were clearly in control, but with the time ticking down and the home side still ahead it looked like something special would be needed to bring Erwin Koeman’s side level.
The coach responded by taking off left back Snoyl and replacing him with midfielder Pardo. It had an effect too, as Castelen poked the ball home in a packed penalty area to bring Feyenoord level.
With ten minutes still left on the clock there was every hope that the Rotterdammers would kick on from there and secure all the spoils, but it was RKC that fashioned the best chances. First De Ceulaer led a home breakaway but he shot wide. A minute later Hans van de Haar rattled a post. Unfortunately it was third time lucky for RKC when Teixeira forced the ball across the line in a skirmish in the box right at the death to give the home side all three points.
RKC Waalwijk – Feyenoord 2-1
33’ 1-0 Martens
79’ 1-1 Castelen
90’ 2-1 Teixeira
RKC: Van Dijk; Van Diemen, Keller, Teixeira, Van Haaren (36’ Fuchs); Martens, Zuiverloon, Molhoek; De Ceulaer, Van de Haar, Hoogendorp (69’ Van Dijk).