Giovanni van Bronckhorst described Sunday’s defeat at FC Groningen as his side’s worst performance in his time as head ...
Despite of a dodgy pitch and an exceptional lack of spectators in Seville’s Olympic Stadium Tuesday, two strikes by Dirk Kuyt guided Feyenoord into the final of the Kappa Cup at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur. After two penalty shoot-out anticlimaxes in Newcastle at the weekend, the 2-1 win marked an upturn in luck for the Rotterdammers. Ruud Gullit’s men can look forward to a final showdown against either Betis Seville or Partizan Belgrade Thursday.
In spite of the absence of Japanese talisman Shinji Ono, Feyenoord did have the first serious chance of the match, when Bart Goor rattled in a free kick that Spurs keeper Keller did well to punch clear.
That was all Feyenoord could muster for a long while however, as Ruud Gullit’s side found it much harder to generate opportunities in Seville than they had on Tyneside.
At the other end, Feyenoord central defensive duo Paauwe and Loovens seemed to have a leash on the ‘English’ attackers. There was an opening for Bakary, but only after Kanouté had got away with a blatant offside. Otherwise, Spurs would have been pretty blunt but for a helping hand from their opponents.
First Ghaly gave the ball away to set up a Tottenham attack that culminated in a shot on target by Kanouté. Then the English side grabbed the lead after some more poor play from the Rotterdammers.
Michael Brown found acres of room between Paauwe and Loovens to get in cross and the ball was eventually swept in by Kanouté, who left Gabor Babos with no chance.
Babos kept Feyenoord within striking distance not long after though, when Kanouté exploited the same gap between Paauwe and Loovens to power in a header that the Hungarian goalie met with a reflex save, tipping the incoming ball over his bar.
It was a long wait before Feyenoord cut out a good chance, but it did bring instant gratification. Mtiliga did the spadework on the left, playing in an unmarked Kuyt, who finished off with aplomb from twenty metres out to take the sides in at the break on level terms.
Ruud Gullit brought on three pairs of fresh legs after the turnaround with Kalou on for Buffel, Van den Berg taking over from Loovens and Zuiverloon taking the place of Gyan.
Within a quarter of an hour coach Gullit had made two more changes. Castelen came on for Smolarek, while Magrão replaced Goor.
The substitutions appeared to have little effect on the flow of the game and Feyenoord continued to find it hard to sculpt any chances. Indeed, the danger came at the other end, as Babos was called upon to deny Defoe.
But the Maassiders started to exert more pressure and Mtiliga might have scored but for Keller’s fine save after the Danish defender let go from long range. Within minutes however Feyenoord had the goal it was looking for.
Out on the left Romeo Castelen celebrated his recent call up to the provisional Dutch squad with a breathtaking cross that Dirk Kuyt met with a diving header that bulleted into the net to give his side the lead.
As the final minutes ticked by Gullit introduced Danko Lazovic, who replaced Kuyt. The Serb couldn’t extend Feyenoord’s lead, but it was a close call when the striker wormed his way through the Spurs defence only to find his way to goal blocked by keeper Keller.
Feyenoord-Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 (1-1)
27' 0-1 Kanouté
39' 1-1 Kuyt
69' 2-1 Kuyt
Feyenoord: Babos; Gyan (Zuiverloon), Loovens (46' Van den Berg), Paauwe, Mtiliga; Smolarek (57' Castelen), Ghaly, Bosschaart, Goor (63' Magrão); Buffel (46' Kalou), Kuyt (78' Lazovic).