Feyenoord began the game with a revised formation due to Bert van Marwijk’s injury list that includes Kees van Wonderen (hamstring), Gérard de Nooijer (knee) and Robin van Persie (ankle). That was good news for Snoyl, Acuña and Lurling, who all claimed a starting place.
Willem II started very weakly and it looked as though Bert van Marwijk could have selected a school eleven and still have overpowered the visitors. That said, Feyenoord were unable to leverage the maximum return and the game was 25 minutes in before the crowd had something to cheer. Ono slipped through on the right and played in Lurling, who extended to Schreuder, but his shot was blocked and the threat was dampened.
The home side might have had a penalty soon after, when Joris Mathijsen handled in the box, but referee Haverkort gave a free kick outside the box, sparing Mathijsen a yellow card, which the Willem II player will have been grateful for, as he’d already been booked.
Feyenoord didn’t have to rue the decision of the man in the middle for long, for the opening strike came within minutes. Workaholic Kuyt crossed from the right and although Buffel failed to get on the end of it Lurling grabbed his chance to slide the ball into the empty net.
Feyenoord started the second period with the same personnel. And the game settled into the same humdrum groove as the first half. Excitement did threaten briefly when Leonardo entered the arena for the injured Acuña as the match entered the last fifteen minutes.
The Brazilian even had two opportunities, and Kuyt went close as well, but the second goal remained elusive. Even the introduction of Van Persie, to the accompaniment of one or two whistles, seven minutes before the end for Lurling didn’t give the home side the impetus it was looking for.
Indeed, when the goal did come it was at the other end. A lack of understanding between Peter van den Berg and Edwin Zoetebier let in Quinn who took his chance to equalise on 88 minutes.
But the De Kuip had hardly had time to adapt to the new circumstances when Thomas Buffel nipped in right at the death to reclaim all three points for Feyenoord.
Feyenoord-Willem II 2-1 (1-0)
30’ 1-0 Lurling
88’ 1-1 Quinn
90’ 2-1 Buffel
Man of the match: Thomas Buffel