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Erwin Koeman tasted Eredivisie defeat for the first time in charge of Feyenoord Sunday, as the club’s 100% league record went the way of all flesh at Galgenwaard stadium. Feyenoord’s nemesis was Robin Nelisse, a product of the club’s youth development who repaid his old educator by rattling in a hat trick. The Rotterdammers’ goal came courtesy of Utrecht defender Sander Keller. Utrecht played the last 25 minutes with ten men after Dwight Tiendalli was red-carded in a game that saw <BR>Jonathan de Guzman given a start in preference to Hossam Ghaly.
The Canadian was unable to prevent Feyenoord having a stinker in the first half. It was clear that Bucharest had not been rinsed from the collective memory and the Rotterdammers played with little imagination, failing to create a single chance before the break.
By all means, the visitors’ confidence was not given a polish in the opening phase, as Nelisse threatened to give FC Utrecht the lead as early as the third minute with a header. That effort was just too high, but four minutes later Nelisse was bang on target with his head as Feyenoord found themselves a goal to the bad.
Feyenoord could have hoped for a better start and it seemed they had been badly winded by the blow. That said, the home side never really looked like doubling their lead. Di Tommaso blazed a free kick over the bar and Stefaan Tanghe wasted a good chance when he found himself in space by the goal, but shot into the side netting. Otherwise there was little in the way of danger.
Feyenoord started to come out of their shell as the half aged and just before half time Sander Keller helped the cause by putting through his own goal to give the Maassiders an equaliser.
The goal should have Feyenoord given more confidence to kick on in the second half, but the opposite was true, as the home side – led by Nelisse – stepped up a gear. The ex-Feyenoord striker scored on behalf of AZ at De Kuip last season, but he appeared to be hungry for more this time round.
Within five minutes of the turnaround he grabbed his second of the afternoon. The original shot was blocked by Östlund, but Lodewijks misjudged the bounce and the ball ended up in the net. The dust had scarcely settled when FC Utrecht struck once more and again it was Nelisse who scored, this time with his head.
That at least did elicit some sort of response from Feyenoord and both Ono and Kalou tested keeper Grandel. Kalou had a great chance to get Feyenoord back in the game on 66, but he was hauled to the ground by last man Tiendalli, who will have been relatively happy to take a red card on the chin rather than a goal.
Attacker Vincken replaced defender Östlund as Koeman looked to help his team pack more punch, but it was always going to be an uphill struggle to get two goals back against ten men.
Kalou drove in a couple of efforts from outside the box, but the youngster was unable to find the target. Paauwe had more success with was his aim, but Grandel got up well to keep the ball out of the net.
With the clock ticking down Kuyt also tried his luck from distance, but he was unable to add a goal to his season’s tally as Feyenoord went down to their first Eredivisie defeat of the campaign.
FC Utrecht – Feyenoord 3-1
7’ 1-0 Nelisse
39’ 1-1 Keller (og)
49’ 2-1 Nelisse
51’ 3-1 Nelisse
Yellow: Ono, Bosschaart, Castelen, Greene, Tiendalli, De Jong
Red: Tiendalli (65’)
FC Utrecht: Grandel, Cornelisse, Keller, Di Tommaso, Braafheid;
Tiendalli, Tanghe (70’ Shew-Atjon), Somers, Van den Bergh (70’ De
Jong); Fortuné, Nelisse (78’ Douglas)
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Östlund (60’ Vincken), Greene, Bahia, Bosschaart;
De Guzman, Paauwe (83’ Pardo), Ono; Castelen, Kuyt, Kalou