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Feyenoord eased back into second place in the Eredivisie with a hard-fought victory in Kerkrade Sunday lunchtime. The visitors took the three points with second-half strikes by the league’s top scorers Dirk Kuyt and Salmon Kalou. Japanese international Shinji Ono managed to complete the ninety minutes, although Chong-Gug Song was forced to sit out the whole game on the bench due to fatigue, after his midweek South Korea date. Crowd favourite Chris Gyan took his place at right back.
Feyenoord took some time to settle and the match was twenty-two minutes old before Bosschaart – no doubt buoyed by his first-ever competitive goal against Odd Grenland – tried a dig from distance, but keeper Kujovic tipped over.
Roda JC on the other hand had to do with one chance during the whole half, although it was the best anyone had. A half-hour had ticked down when Van Dijk sent in a cross that Cristiano met with his head, but the Brazilian was even unable to force a save from Babos, as his header flashed over.
The visitors gradually took control of proceedings in the final fifteen of the half, creating a bouquet of opportunities, although neither Kalou nor Goor could cash in before the break.
It appeared to be just a matter of time before the Rotterdammers took the lead however, especially when Ruud Gullit’s men came out in the second half showing the same determination. The chances came almost immediately – the best falling to Castelen. After a fine attacking move that saw Kuyt lay off to Kalou with his outstep and the Ivorian skin Luijpers, the ball ended up at the feet of Castelen, who looked a certainty to score, but the Dutch international failed to find the net all the same.
Within ten minutes the bad taste of the miss had been washed down with the nectar of success, as Castelen took out the Roda defence with a through ball that left Kuyt with the relatively simple task of stroking home to give Feyenoord the lead.
Five minutes later a faultless Ono might have put the game beyond the home side’s reach. Kalou provided the through ball this time, but Ono was unable to emulate Kuyt, failing to keep his effort on target.
With just that one goal to the good Feyenoord needed to remain fully focused on the task at hand. Nonchalance in the Rotterdam team handed the home side a couple of opportunities to equalise however, especially when Van Dessel rifled in a shot that rattled the bar on 69. A minute later Kuyt cleared a Vicelich effort from the line.
Roda continued to ratchet up the pressure on the Rotterdammers by the minute and Sergio looked like finally making the breakthrough, but the home striker couldn’t keep himself from pulling his shot just wide.
The visitors tried to break the Kerkraders stranglehold not long after, when Ono drove in a powerful shot that whisked wide of the post.
Roda JC coach Vloet tried to force the issue with a double substitution with twelve left on the clock, but when the goal came, in time honoured fashion it fell to the side on the back foot, as Kalou claimed his ninth goal of the Eredivisie season to wrap up the win for Feyenoord.
Roda JC-Feyenoord 0-2 (0-0)
58’ Kuyt 0-2
92’ Kalou 0-3
Referee: R. Luinge
Yellow: Saidi, Sergio, Brouwers
Roda JC: Kujovic; Bodnar, Brouwers, Luijpers (78’ Bodor), Filipovic; Van Dijk, Vicelich, Van Dessel (78’ Sonko); Sergio, Cristiano (67’ Cissé), Koné.
Feyenoord: Babos; Gyan, Saidi, Paauwe, Basto; Castelen (75’ Smolarek), Ono, Bosschaart, Goor; Kalou, Kuyt (81’ Ghaly).