Feyenoord booked a place in the holy of holies with a two goal win against Fenerbahçe Tuesday night to progress three-nil on aggregate. Home-leg hero Shinji Ono and Thomas Buffel scored the goals that capped a fine team performance. The victory means that another fantastic European adventure can begin, and with this year’s final at Old Trafford, Manchester, what better place to start than in Istanbul on the other side of Europe?

The atmosphere in the Sükrü Saraçoglu stadium was electric as the game got underway, and the home side did their best to turn Turkish passion into goals in a frantic first twenty minutes. After only four minutes Revivo drove in a shot that served warning on Feyenoord if ever they needed it of Fenerbahçe’s intentions. The opening phase saw the blue and yellow of the Turkish league runners-up encamped in the visitors’ half, although there was a lack of any imminent danger, more an ominous threat in the air. Revivo had another go after nice combination play on the edge of the area, but Zoetebier was equal to it. Then Ortega tried from distance, but couldn’t find the target. Feyenoord didn’t break out until around twenty-five minutes, but their first attack was promising. Some flowing combination football from one flank to the other brought the ball to Emerton’s feet. The Australian tried to create room for himself in the box, but keeper Rüstü was quick to close him down. The ball rebounded via Van Hooijdonk to Kalou, but the African was just unable to direct his effort past Mirkovic, who blocked with his legs. The visitors started to get a better grip on the game as the half wore on, with that man Kalou centre-stage. A wonderful solo dribble in the box was followed by a dangerous counter that unfortunately only led to a corner and the sides went in at the break nil-nil. The second half finally got going around five minutes late as the home fans put on a firework display which generated so much smoke that Zoetebier’s goal could only be picked up by radar. When the fog lifted and the game restarted Feyenoord proved there’s no smoke without fire. Shinji Ono latched on to a Kalou throughball to net a carbon copy of the strike that gave Feyenoord their one goal cushion two weeks ago in the Kuip. Or rather a mirror image, as this time the Japanese converted with his right foot. The goal brought the stadium to boiling point and the Fenerbahçe fans behind Edwin Zoetebier displayed their frustration by throwing a number of objects on to the pitch. Bert van Marwijk raced out of his dugout in anger as the missiles also started raining down over his head, only to be sent to the stand for daring to tread on hallowed turf. From his more elevated position, Van Marwijk saw the Belgian Tomas Buffel come on for Anthony Lurling with less than a quarter of an hour to play. A switch that paid dividends with a minute left on the clock when Buffel picked up the ball some twenty-five metres out, taking it on to the edge of the box before rifling Feyenoord’s second. The reaction of the Istanbul crowd was very different to the first goal, as the stadium rose to a man to applaud a fine individual strike by the youngster. As the final whistle went the small group of travelling fans celebrated another great European night for their club and the prospect of Champions League football in Rotterdam for the second season in succession. Fenerbahçe 0-2 Feyenoord 49’ 0-1 Ono 89’ 0-2 Buffel Fenerbahçe Rüstü; Akyel, Dogan, Okün, Abdullah, Mirkovic; Stevic, Ortega, Revivo; Akin Washington Feyenoord Zoetebier; Gyan, Van Wonderen, Paauwe, Rzasa; Emerton, Bosvelt, Ono, Lurling (Buffel 77’); Kalou, Van Hooijdonk. Yellow cards Mirkovic, Ortega Bosvelt, Kalou
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