The game started at high velocity, and Van Hooijdonk was close to opening the scoring early on from a freekick, but the tsunami deteriorated into a ripple as RBC Roosendaal tried to keep the lid on the home side’s ambitions. Even so, both Van Persie and Buffel might have spared the fullhouse crowd quite so much anxiety had they converted their firsthalf chances.
The home side were finding it hard to keep the ball moving and RBC looked comfortable for most of the half. The visitors even ventured over the halfway line now and again, as Lodewijks had to keep fully concentrated on the job in hand to keep Daelemans from giving the Roosendaal outfit the lead.
Unsurprisingly, Bert van Marwijk changed things around at the break as the invisible Kalou was replaced by Anthony Lurling. The change did little to alter the pattern of the game however, as Feyenoord spent too much time building up to nothing outside the danger zone.
The temperature rose somewhat when Wooter picked up a head injury down by the deadline line. Feyenoord refused to kick the ball out of play and when referee Jol stopped the game anyway Kees van Wonderen registered his dissatisfaction as Wooter could easily have stepped over the line himself. The standoff that followed resulted in yellow cards for Van Wonderen en Sillah to go with their handbags.
The incident did bring a bit of life into the Kuip. The home team started to show more aggression and even crafted a few openings. Thomas Buffel might have given the red and white the lead but his effort couldn’t hit the target from Van Perise’s cross.
Lurling had an even better opportunity with twenty left on the clock, bit his chip rattled off the bar, and Feyenoord almost paid dearly for the lack of a goal when Tininho forced a desperate save out of Lodewijks.
As the clock ran down the added on time ticked away, Feyenoord finally got the breakthrough. Paauwe let fly from well outside the box to beat keeper De Ron and keep Feyenoord in the race for the Champions League.
Feyenoord – RBC Roosendaal 1-0 (0-0)
1-0 Paauwe (90’)
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Song, Van Wonderen, De Nooijer, Paauwe; Kalou (46’ Lurling), Acuña, Emerton, Van Persie (79’ Pardo); Buffel (69’ Bombarda), Van Hooijdonk.
RBC Roosendaal: De Ron; Keller, Nascimento, Hellemons, Fleur (90’ Van Wanrooy); Oliseh, Tininho, Sillah (89’ Piqué), Wooter; Daelemans (66’ Den Ouden), De Graaf.
Yeloow: Van Wonderen, De Nooijer (Feyenoord), Sillah, De Graaf (RBC Roosendaal)