HARD-FOUGHT VICTORY KEEPS PRESSURE ON

Feyenoord were made to work hard Sunday afternoon in the Kuip, coming from behind to take victory against NAC Breda. Thomas Buffel cancelled out an early visitors’goal, but in the end it was the magician Pierre van Hooijdonk who turned one point into three with the winner in the last five minutes, to keep Feyenoord in contention for second place. Song made a successful return in the second half.

The home side had to do without both Bosvelt and Ono in the centre of the park. Both were hit by a bug before the game. The Japanese actually wanted to leave his sickbed, but club doctor Van Linsschoten told him to rest. That gave Kike Acuña a chance in midfield, for the Chilean’s first start in a competitive game. The changes didn’t seem to affect Feyenoord in the opening minutes however. Robin van Persie had a chance to give his side within two minutes, but his shot was too lacklustre after goalie Babos failed to hold onto the ball. Ali Boussabon was more decisive not long after, making the most of Patrick Paauwe’s slip on the halfway line to slip through and slam the ball past Patrick Lodewijks from the edge of the box and hand the visitors the lead Feyenoord got back on level terms on nineteen. Patrick Paauwe found Thomas Buffel from distance and the Belgian ran in on Babos before placing the ball past him for 1-1. That gave Feyenoord the impetus it needed and the chances came, though not thick and fast. First Kalou was a metre away after redirecting a Van Hooijdonk freekick, then Buffel almost got his second of the afternoon, but Babos beat down his shot. The ball rebounded to Van Hooijdonk who was unable to direct his effort and the chance was gone. The teams came out unchanged after the halftime tea, and made a better game of things, at least in terms of goal opportunities. The first good chance came when Van Persie crossed, but Buffel spooned over from close in. Within sixty seconds the home side went close again, but Van Hooijdonk was unable to convert Emerton’s cross. NAC even came out of their shells now and again. Only an excellent reflex from Lodewijks kept the game all-square when Fehèr rattled in a shot. Then the action switched to the other end again and Pierre van Hooijdonk smashed against the post.. The Kuip was lifted at the death, when Van Hooijdonk latched onto a Song cross. The ball went off at a tangent, completely fooling Babos who flapped at it, but couldn’t stop it travelling over the line for the winner. Feyenoord – NAC Breda (1-1) 5” Boussabon 0-1, 19” Buffel 1-1, 85” Van Hooijdonk 1-2 Attendance: 40,100 Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Gyan, Van Wonderen, De Nooijer, Paauwe; Kalou, Emerton, Acuña (59” Song), Van Persie (83” Bombarda); Buffel andn Hooijdonk. NAC Breda: Babos; Colin (76” Van den Eede), Penders, Schenning, Gudelj; Fehèr, Schreuder, Slot, Engelaar; Bobson (81” Abdellaoui) andussabon. Referee: Temink (50” Van Dongen) Yellow: Van Wonderen (Feyenoord), Abdellaoui, Slot, Van den Eede (NAC Breda)
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