BUFFEL SAVES THE DAY

Two goals in the last eight minutes snatched victory from the jaws of defeat Sunday, as Feyenoord came from a goal down to beat NAC Breda by two goals to one in the Eredivisie at the Kuip. Hero of the hour was Thomas Buffel, whose last-gasp header sealed all three points, after Mariano Bombardo had equalised a first-half NAC strike on 82. The game also saw the second-half return of Shini Ono after a three-month layoff.

Van Marwijk fielded the same side that lost to Heereveen, with the exception of the injured Robin van Persie, who was replaced by Pardo. Danko Lazovic started impatiently, hunting for more goals to add to his strike against NEC. Indeed, the Serbian almost doubled his season’s tally within sixty seconds, when Paauwe picked him out with a wonderful long ball, but Lazovic’s effort missed the target. The chance was the first of many in the opening period of the first half. Van Wonderen, the best man on the pitch, went close too. With play concertinaed in the visitor’s half of the pitch, a Rotterdam goal looked inevitable. Pardo was served up a chance by Van Wonderen and Lazovic had a headed chance, but the goal continued to elude an over-eager Feyenoord. NAC, with Elmander up front and Collen on the bench, did little attacking-wise early on. The Breda outfit did threaten when Seedorf broke through and Peter van den Berg was forced to bring his opponent to the ground. He’ll be thankful he got only a yellow card for his troubles. The resulting free kick did not lead to anything. NAC began to take control of the game and got the opening goal on 25 minutes. A ball cut through the Feyenoord defence and Diba took his chance to stroke his drive under the body of Edwin Zoetebier and into the net. The goal was a sucker punch that left Feyenoord feeling very groggy indeed. Yet Van Marwijk’s side continued to press, and Buffel, Kuyt and Lazovic all went close. But when the goal did come (from Lazovic) it was ruled offside. The second half started with Feyenoord still chasing the game. Shinji Ono came on early in the half for Song, who continues his search for a scrap of form. After three months on the sidelines Ono was finding the going tough and indeed the whole home team was having difficulty getting into gear. And with 15 left on the clock, keeper Zoetebier had to be at his best to prevent NAC doubling its lead. The chances continued to come as the game entered the final stages, but Feyenoord looked unable to make the most of them until Mariano Bombarda put his thing down, ramming home a loose ball in the box for the leveller. Things went from good to better when Thomas Buffel rattled in a close range header at the death to send the home faithful home with smiles on their faces. Feyenoord-NAC 2-1 (0-1) 24’ 0-1 Diba 82’ 1-1 Bombarda 90’ 2-1 Buffel Feyenoord: Zoetebier; Song (56’ Ono), Van den Berg, Paauwe, De Nooijer (77’ Bombarda); Kuyt, Schreuder, Van Wonderen, Pardo; Buffel, Lazovic (65’ Lurling). NAC: Babos; Feher, Penders, Schenning, Gudelj; Petö (77’Barakat), Seedorf (69’ Boussabon), Slot, Stam; Elmander, Diba Referee: D. Jol Yellows: Van den Berg, Van Wonderen, Pettö
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