Feyenoord kept in the hunt for second place in the Eredivisie, continuing the fine run of form that’s taken the club through the first two months of 2003 with another comfortable win, this time across the city at Woudestein, where Excelsior were thrashed 6-2. Van Persie, (2x), Van Hooijdonk (2x), Buffel and Kalou were the goalscorers. There was no clash of the Koreans either, as Chong-gug Song sat out the fixture at home.

Excelsior started with passion, but it soon became clear that there could be only one winner in this Rotterdam derby, as Feyenoord pressed from the first whistle. It was not so surprising then, that Feyenoord took an early lead and, given the player’s reincarnation as a goalgetter, not surprising that it was Robin van Persie who got it. Kalou sent Van Hooijdonk down the left flank and his cross was perfectly tailored to Van Persie, who beat Buys before netting in the far corner. Feyenoord remained in control and even Excelsior sweeper Nam-il Kim was unable to do much about that. On twenty-five minutes it was two, Van Hoooijdonk knocking on a corner where Buffel pounced for his goal. But the home side refused to give up and were rewarded five minutes later with a goal of their own, when Swerts capitalised on some weak defending by Gyan and Paauwe to get it back to two-one. The goal jolted Van Hooijdonk into action and the two-goal cushion was restored without further ado on thirty-four by way of a freekick. Postbreak, Feyenoord continued to dominate and Excelsior continued to be unable to foil their neighbours, let alone do much in the way of attacking themselves. Kalou drew first blood with a rasping drive from distance that left Varkevisser chanceless. The home side did manage to get one back with three minutes left on the clock, substitute Brett Holman getting the rub of the green and a goal to his name, but that just seemed to spur Feyenoord on further and Buffel converted a Lurling cross within sixty seconds. And then with the game all but done and dusted ex-Feyenoorder Ferry de Haan pulled down the Belgian in the box and Van Hooijdonk sunk the penalty for the visitors’ sixth of the evening before referee Van Hulten blew for time. Excelsior 2-6 Feyenoord (1-3) 13’ 0-1 Van Persie 25’ 0-2 Buffel 30’ 1-2 Swerts 34’ 1-3 Van Hooijdonk 49’ 1-4 Kalou 87’ 2-4 Holman 88’ 2-5 Buffel 90’ 2-6 Van Hooijdonk (pen) Excelsior: Varkevisser; Buys (El Hamdaoui), De Haan, Olfers, Bastos; Zwerts, Mtiliga, Kim, Pinas (45’ Holman); Boutahar, Lopes. Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Emerton, Gyan, Van Wonderen, Paauwe; Kalou (79’ Lurling), Bosvelt, Acuña, Buffel; Van Persie, Van Hooijdonk. Referee: J. van Hulten

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