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Feyenoord got back to Eredivisie winning ways in Groningen Sunday after two league defeats to FC Den Bosch and Ajax. The Rotterdammers took the lead with a goal by André Bahia, and Nicky Hofs wrapped up the points in the final minute. Cory Gibbs was forced out of the match at the break with a hamstring problem, while another yellow card for Hofs will keep him out against Heerenveen next week.
Gábor Babos missed the game with a groin strain and Patrick Lodewijks, only recently recovered from a muscle strain himself, took over in goal.
The painful home defeat at the hands of the same opponents earlier in the season was not a great concern to Ruud Gullit’s team after a week of disappointments in league and cup. Feyenoord were fired up to get back to winning ways, although that didn’t lead to a great many opportunities in the first half, despite them having a clear upper hand.
It was only in the final quarter of an hour before the break that the breakthrough came. A Salomon Kalou shot made Feyenoord’s intentions known, although it went over and by the time the opener came it was no surprise at all, although the scorer was. André Bahia had celebrated his first start against FC Den Bosch with a goal and he scored again in his second start. Roorda deflected Bahia’s first effort onto the post, but he defender was alert enough to sweep the ball into the empty net when it came back to him.
Cory Gibbs didn’t re-emerge from the dressing room at the start of the second half due to a hamstring injury. His place was taken by Gianni Zuiverloon, who also took over Patrick Lodewijks’s goal-kicking tasks. The keeper’s situation started to deteriorate however and third keeper Malek Malkowski warmed up along the touchline.
Further up the field the Rotterdammers were having few problems with the home side, and it was only the sloppiness of Romeo Castelen in front of goal that kept Groningen in the match. His first shot was parried and then smothered by Roorda, while Elshot cleared the attacker’s second effort from the line, after Catelen rounded the keeper.
The home side gained confidence as the half progressed and there was always a lurking danger of Feyenoord slipping up and giving away two points. As a result the final stages of the match were untidy as the Maasiders were pushed back towards their own goal.
But before the travelling fans could get seriously worried, Nicky Hofs stroked in the second for Feyenoord in the last minute to secure all the spoils.
FC Groningen 0-2 Feyenoord
36´ 0-1 Bahia
87´ 0-2 Hofs
Yellows: Hofs, Drent
FC Groningen: Roorda; Elshot, Matthijs, Van der Linden, Florén; Buijs (86’ Pinas), Krstev (70’ Bechan), Van Gessel; Drent, Seedorf (80’ Hugo), Nevland.
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Östlund, Bahia, Gibbs (46’ Zuiverloon), Bosschaart; Castelen, Ono (72’ De Graaf), Hofs, Goor; Kuyt, Kalou.