The game took a while to get into gear and neither side was able to get the motor humming, least of all Feyenoord. The visitors failed to show any drive in the first half, and didn’t create a single chance of note, as RKC defenders Nikiforov and Van den Berg took the sting out of not so busy Bs Buffel and Bombarda.
The visitors didn’t appear to want to use the full width of the pitch in the first halfhour, continually trying to create an opening down the middle and continually failing, with no more than a few shots from distance to show.
Feyenoord’s 36-year-old reserve keeper Carlo l’Ami made his debut in the starting eleven and certainly saved his side twice in the firsthalf, first speeding out to negate the threat of De Graef, then tipping away a Van den Berg header to keep Feyenoord on level terms.
Glenn Loovens, looking assured throughout, also saved his team with a firm but fair shoulder charge in the penalty area to dull the danger posed by Greene.
RKC continued to look menacing however, and Feyenoord had to work hard to resist the power of the Waalwijk outfit. It even came down to luck once or twice, especially when Jansen failed to connect with a long ball by Hoogendorp and Cornelisse fired over.
Patrick Paauwe went nearest for Feyenoord in the first forty-five, lashing in a long-range effort that lacked sufficient zip to find the net.
The second half didn’t look much more promising to begin with, as the home side got the better of the Rotterdammers in a midfield fracas, while relying on counters via Rick Hoogendorp, who threatened twice within ten minutes of the restart.
Bert van Marwijk made his first change with twenty or so minutes of the game to go, throwing on Kalou for Bombarda, who failed to impress all night. Next it was the turn of Pardo, who replaced Lurling, while, on the other side, Jason Oost made his ingress.
Unfortunately it was the home side’s substitution that was to pay dividends. Oost drove an unstoppable effort past a luckless l’Ami from the edge of the box with almost his first touch to open the scoring with only seven minutes left on the clock.
The goal understandably fired up the visitors, but Feyenoord were unable to make the breakthrough and ultimately left Brabant with nothing.
RKC 1-0 Feyenoord (0-0)
83’ 1-0 Oost
RKC: Van Dijk; Boulahrouz, Nikiforov, Van den Berg, Greene; Cornelisse, Van Diemen (70’ Petrovic), Molhoek, De Graef; Janssen, Hoogendorp (80’ Oost).
Feyenoord: L’Ami; Song, Loovens, Paauwe, Rzasa; Emerton, Bosvelt, Ono, Lurling (80’ Pardo); Buffel, Bombarda (73’ Kalou).
Referee: D. Jol
Yellow card: Van den Berg.