It wasn’t quite seventh heaven, but a beautiful volley in the first half from Romeo Castelen and a second-half strike by Dirk Kuyt—his twentieth in the Eredivisie this season—earned Feyenoord their third successive league victory at Nieuw Galgenwaard Sunday against fifth-placed FC Utrecht. It was a welcome and confidence-boosting win four days prior to the important Uefa Cup round of the last 32 second leg home tie against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday.

The home side started at a furious pace and might have taken an early lead when di Tommaso got his head to an incoming cross, but Basto cleared off the line.

In the end, though it was the visitors that grabbed an early goal. Keeper Joost Terol had no chance as Romeo Castelen latched onto Dirk Kuyt’s cross to provide a perfect volleyed finish that flew into the far corner.

The goal was a blow to the home side, and after ten minutes of constant pressure Feyenoord found themselves in calmer waters, taking control of the match. Indeed, there would be a great chance for the Rotterdammers to get a second before the break, but Cory Gibbs couldn’t quite keep his effort under the bar after the defender met a Nicky Hofs free kick.

FC Utrecht were limited to shooting from distance, with Cornelisse, Van den Bergh, Douglas and Somers all trying their luck without success, but the home side came out after the break with a real hunger to get back on terms. Michael Mols was close to doing just that, but his header went over.

But if the first goal dampened the home side’s spirit, the second wrapped up the match for the visitors. It was a cold-blooded, efficient Feyenoord took advantage of the hosts need to commit men forward just before the hour mark. Terol kept out Saidi’s header, but the ball fell to Dirk Kuyt, who netted from two metres out.

The goal didn’t stop the home side getting forward and keeper Patrick Lodewijks and defenders Saidi and Gibbs all needed to be at their best to keep their side two ahead.

Utrecht went close on three occasions, but Lodewijks repaid coach Gullit’s confidence in him with an awesome performance, saving from Hans Somers and Douglas. The finest was yet to come however, as Hans van de Haar was denied in the final moments of the match.

FC Utrecht 0-2 Feyenoord
10´ 0-1 Castelen
57´ 0-2 Kuyt

FC Utrecht: Terol; Cornelisse, Di Tommaso, Schut, Braafheid; Kruys (73´ Rajcomar), Keller (46´ Tiendalli), Somers, Van den Bergh; Mols (76´ Van de Haar), Douglas.

Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Zuiverloon, Saidi, Gibbs, Basto; Castelen (81´ Ono), Paauwe, Hofs, Goor; Kuyt, Lazovic (81´ Kalou).

Yellow: Zuiverloon, Saidi (Feyenoord), Braafheid (FC Utrecht)

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