‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Goals by Salomon Kalou and Dirk Kuyt looked like giving Feyenoord all three points against Ajax at De Kuip Sunday, but the visitors turned things upside down in the final five minutes and a Maduro goal in injury time secured the win for Ajax. As if that wasn’t enough disappointment for one day, Karim Saidi picked up a yellow card and will now miss the midweek cup semi against PSV, while Hossam Ghaly was forced out of the match after only eleven minutes with a head wound.
Ruud Gullit’s plans were thrown into disarray early on for the second match in succession when Basto and Ghaly clashed heads. The Egyptian was left in a heap on the ground causing an empathic gasp around the stadium. It was the end of the game for Ghaly, who went straight to hospital. Basto’s bloody head was quickly patched up and the Portuguese returned to the field of play within six minutes to rapturous applause.
The match itself had problems getting going as neither side was unable to impress. Ajax tried their luck from distance on a couple of occasions, but Sneijder and De Jong both saw their efforts parried by Gábor Babos. Sneijder tried again a little later, but he couldn’t keep his drive on target.
Feyenoord had little in response, although they appeared to have taken the lead on the half hour, when Dirk Kuyt headed home, but referee Temmink scratched the effort off for Kuyt’s foul on Grygera. Kuyt’s strike partner Kalou was next to threaten: his drive ended up just the wrong side of the post.
The match ignited at the start of the second half however and the firestarter was Salomon Kalou. The striker had failed to impress in the first period, but within two minutes of the restart he had given his side the lead. Goor fed the Ivorian who beat Escudé before driving an unstoppable shot past Vonk.
Feyenoord appeared to be taking tight control of the match, but the visitors fought back resiliently. Pienaar set up De Jong and he placed his shot out of reach of Babos to level matters.
It was clear that the match could go either way, but Feyenoord looked like claiming all three points when Kuyt grabbed the home side’s second with just over ten minutes left, after fine work by Edwin de Graaf.
But ten minutes is a long time in football, as proven by Ajax, who levelled for the second time on 85. Grygera’s volley got the nerves jangling at De Kuip as he made it 2-2. There was worse to come.
In time added on Babos was forced into action to confound Boukhari, when the Ajax substitute found himself in a one-on-one situation, but the home keeper was unable to keep out Maduro’s effort right at the death as the visitors claimed all three points.
Feyenoord – Ajax 2-3
47 1-0 Kalou
57´ 1-1 De Jong
79´ 2-1 Kuyt
85´ 2-2 Grygera
90´ 2-3 Maduro
Yellows: De Graaf, Saidi, Maxwell, Trabelsi
Feyenoord: Babos; Östlund, Saidi, Gibbs, Basto; Castelen, Ono, Ghaly (11’ Pardo/76’ De Graaf), Goor; Kuyt, Kalou.
Ajax: Vonk; Trabelsi, Escudé, Grygera, Maxwell, De Jong, Pienaar (87’ Anastasiou), Sneijder (82’ Boukhari), Maduro; Mitea, Babel.