Feyenoord started well, despite having a number of unfamiliar faces in the starting line-up. Indeed, Hossam Ghaly almost found instant glory, when he tested keeper Vonk with a lob early on, but his effort just cleared the bar to land on the top of the net.
The home side created more chances in those early stages, but on ten minutes it was the visitors who opened the scoring.
Ghaly was drawn out wide as Heerenveen attacked and his absence from the centre meant that Hestad found himself in acres of room in the middle. Pardo tried to put things right, but could only do so with a foul in the home penalty area. Referee Van Egmond pointed to the spot and Selakovic stepped up to put the Frisians one ahead.
Feyenoord were clearly knocked out of their stride by the loss of the goal. The home side’s play deteriorated, and there was little imagination to secure a viable return for Rotterdam industry.
Pardo’s efforts were paying low dividends, while Kuyt was having no luck either. Lurling too was finding it hard to make his mark, despite his aspirations to make his starting place more permanent ahead of Van Persie.
It was the 32nd minute before Feyenoord had another goal opportunity and then it was Seip who almost put through his own goal, although his ball stranded against a post.
There was some light relief at half time, when Paul Bosvelt received the cheers of De Kuip crowd in his farewell bow. ‘I had six fantastic years and that is chiefly thanks to you,’ admitted the former club captain to his fans.
The second half saw Van Marwijk bring in Ono for Pardo. Soon after Van Persie came on for Smolarek. But things got worse on 66, when Knopper finished off a counter attack to give Heerenveen a two-goal lead.
Buffel got one back with a quarter of an hour left and then grabbed an equaliser in the last ten minutes to set up an exciting last act.
Yet it was the visitors that created two chances to grab a third and in the end the sides had to settle for a point each.
Feyenoord-Heerenveen 2-2 (0-1)
11’ 0-1 Selakovic (pen.)
66’ 0-2 Knopper
74’ 1-2 Buffel
81’ 2-2 Buffel
Lodewijks; Song, Ghaly, Van den Berg, Mtiliga; Smolarek (63’ Van Persie), Schreuder (75’ Lazovic), Pardo (46’ Ono), Lurling; Buffel, Kuyt.
Vonk; Bakkati (75’ Venema), Hansson, Seip, Edman; Vayrynen, Radomski, Hestad; Selakovic, Knopper, Hakansson (78’ Sibon).
Referee: D. van Egmond
Yellows: Lurling, Seip, Vayrynen, Schreuder