Kalou made it back to Rotterdam at the end, but took his place on the bench as young Belgian Thomas Buffel started. Both Mariano Bombarda and Sebastian Pardo joined the Ivorian on the sidelines for the first time.
Pardo came into the action relatively early on, replacing a disappointing Anthony Lurling on 37 minutes. Feyenoord were already 2-1 up by then. Pierre van Hooijdonk had opened his account on eleven minutes, netting a penalty after Danny Buys handled in the box. The big man then doubled his haul, again from a dead ball situation, although this time from further out. You might think that the keepers of Europe would be getting the hang of Pierre’s free kicks by now, but Excelsior goalie Malkwoski certainly hadn’t been doing his homework, as Van Hooijdonk beat him from twenty-five metres to make it two-nil.
For a moment it looked like Feyenoord would put on a goal show, but it was the little brothers from the other side of Rotterdam who scored next. Holman and Lopes combined well on the right, and though Holman’s shot was parried by Zoetebier, Brian Pinas was on hand to score on his return to the Kuip.
Feyenoord still looked good for a few more goals however. Ono show his shot beaten out by Malkowski, Emerton pulled a drive just wide and Bosvelt went close after fine work from Buffel on the dead-ball line, but the home side was unable to make any serious headway and went in at the break 2-1 up.
The second half was seven minutes old when Buffel broke through on the left, pulling the ball back to Sebastian Pardo who had the relatively easy task of placing the ball between the posts for 3-1.
The seemed to knock the stuffing out of Excelsior, and the game ground towards its inevitable conclusion. One man wasn’t happy with the score however. The man who gave his idea of starting a hotel in Spain to play for the UEFA cup holders, Bombarda, joined the action with 20 minutes to spare, replacing the strong Gyan. The birthday boy (30 today) followed Pardo’s lead to net on his debut in the dying seconds for 4-1.
Feyenoord-Excelsior 4-1 (2-1)
11’ 1-0 Van Hooijdonk (pen)
14’ 2-0 Van Hooijdonk
24’ 2-1 Pinas
53’ 3-1 Pardo
90’ 4-1 Bombarda
Feyenoord: Zoetebier; Gyan (70’ Bombarda), Van Wonderen, Paauwe, Van Haaren; Emerton, Bosvelt, Ono, Lurling (37’ Pardo); Buffel (81’ Dos Santos), Van Hooijdonk.
Excelsior: Malkowski; Buys (55’ Martis), Olfers, Breuer, Mtiliga (79’ Bastos); Koswal, Swerts, Boutahar, Pinas; Holman (72’ El Hamdaoui), Lopes.
Referee: R. Luinge