Dirk Kuyt will officially end his professional playing career on Sunday 27 May 2018. Twelve months after the 37-year-old ne...
Feyenoord made it’s a straight eight in Breda with another Eredivisie win Sunday, this time against NAC Breda. The Rotterdammers were out of sorts for much of the first half, but a Salomon Kalou goal just ahead of the break put them on track and Shinji Ono confirmed the win late in the second half. With a maximum 24 points from the last eight league games and a midweek fixture against bottom-side Den Bosch to come, Feyenoord must now go into next Sunday’s showdown with Ajax full of confidence.
With such an impressive league run under their belts Feyenoord must have arrived in Breda bristling with confidence, but the Rotterdammers’ performance is the opening half-hour suggested otherwise. Ruud Gullit’s side looked to be finding it tough to stamp their mark on the match, due less to the home side’s endeavour and more to its own difficulties. Especially in midfield, where bad passes led the visitors to lose possession far too often.
Gabor Babos, back in the team due to Patrick Lodewijks’s injury, made his first save on 13, when Boussaboun tested the skill of the keeper he’ll be playing alongside next season at De Kuip. Babos turned the ball around the post for a corner.
Then a minute later Lurling got away from Bosschaart, also just back in the team, and looked like he was going to make the breakthrough. Lurling ignored a couple of team mates in lots of space, preferring to shoot himself, and his selfishness was rewarded with nothing as the ball went high and wide.
Feyenoord were unable to respond with offensive initiatives themselves until well into the game. There were 35 minutes played by the time Castelen drove his shot just wide of the far post. The chance did give Feyenoord a little more confidence and the number of bad Rotterdam passes was reduced significantly.
It all meant that the visitors looked a lot better going into the last stages of the first half, even creating a couple of opportunities, as Kalou went close with his head and Gibbs shot just wide. But that was all just foreplay to Feyenoord to taking the lead with three minutes left. Kalou suddenly found himself with the ball at his feet after NAC surrendered position in the middle of the park. The young striker beat his marker Penders and rifled off an unstoppable shot that deflected off the defender’s leg into the net.
A goal just ahead of half time is always a hard psychological blow to the conceders and the home side were certainly knocked off their stride. NAC dug in however and as a consequence the second half needed some time to get going.
That happened after a quarter of an hour, when both Feyenoord and NAC went close in close succession, through Ono and Petö respectively. Feyenoord then had three chances to finish the home side off. The first fell to Kalou, who was unable to add to his opener after some great work by Castelen. The second was Ghaly’s, whose shot was stopped by keeper Schollen, and the third was reserved for Kuyt, who was also unable to find the net. Kalou had another attempt to double his tally on 75, but was unable to find the target from distance.
The visitors finally got the second goal as the clock started ticking down the final ten minutes and it was down to the team’s doggedness and the vision of its master craftsman Ono. The Japanese saw a gap open up in the home defence and decided to have a pop from just outside the area, successfully as it turned out, as the shot flew into the net to secure the points.
NAC 0-2 Feyenoord 0-2
42’ 0-1 Kalou
81’ 0-2 Ono
Referee: P. Vervecken (B)
Yellows: Lurling, Bosschaart, Gudelj, Saidi
NAC: Schollen; Collen, Colin, Penders, Gudelj; Mendes, Slot (68’ Stam), Petö (78’ Schenning); Diba, Boussaboun, Lurling (68’ Cornelisse).
Feyenoord: Babos; Östlund, Gibbs, Saidi, Bosschaart; Ghaly, Ono, Goor; Castelen, Kalou, Kuyt (78’ Lazovic).