VAN HOOIJDONK: OOPS, I DID IT AGAIN

Feyenoord fought hard for a point in a difficult game Sunday in the Kuip against RKC. The 1-1 draw was disappointing for the home team, but news of Ajax’s demise in Arnhem versus Vitesse did bring a little cheer. Feyenoord are now two points behind the Amsterdammers with a game in hand. It was once again Pierre van Hooijdonk who got the goal Feyenoord so dearly needed, after RKC had taken the lead early in the second half.

Feyenoord were forced to make a change in their starting line-up with Kees van Wonderen out with a stomach bug. Ferry de Haan it was who was able to take advantage, slotting into the home defence after a long layoff through injury. De Haan might have wished for an extra week to get up to speed, because Feyenoord started poorly at the back. The RKC attack showed a lot of movement and the Rotterdammers found it tough to contain them in the opening stages. Indeed the whole team were finding things difficult, with the exception perhaps of Kalou, who was looking sharp. As a result the home side were finding it hard to hold on to the ball and so create anything of worth. Thankfully, only Eddy Putter was able to take advantage of the collective offday, When he intercepted a soft header from Patrick Paauwe towards Edwin Zoetebier, but the RKC player lobbed the ball over from five metres out. The first chance for the home side came after 20 minutes. Kalou glided through a couple of challenges before letting rip, only to see kepper Sinouh parry over the bar. That was Feyenoord’s best chance of the half, although they did have a lot of possession and did get the ball in to the danger zone on a number of occasions. Tomasson tried to make something out of nothing on the half hour, one-twoing with Van Hooijdonk and then lobbing the keeper. His effort landed on the roof of the net. Just before the break Bert van Marwijk was forced to make a change, after Patrick Paauwe picked up an injury. The bad news was followed by worse news within three minutes of the break. Fuchs latched on to a cross and placed an unstoppable shot in the net to give the visitors the lead. The goal had immediate consequences for Leonardo. The youngster was only in the team because first choice Van Persie was forty-five minutes late in arriving after forgetting about a little thing called summertime. Feyenoord started to pressurise and were almost level on the hour. First Ono drove in a shot from distance but the ball went just wide. Then Van Persie sent in a free kick which bent round the wrong side of the post. With 25 minutes left Igor Korneev was given his chance and Feyenoord upped the ante. Yet despite all the effort, it looked like Feyenoord would leave pointless, until that man Van Hooijdonk got on the end of a Korneev cross to head the ball past Sinouh for the equaliser. Before the end, Kalou might have made the afternoon complete, but it finished all square Feyenoord-RKC 1-1 (0-0) 48’ 0-1 Fuchs 81’ 1-1 Van Hooijdonk Feyenoord: Zoetebier; Emerton, De Haan, Paauwe (46’ Gyan), Rzasa; Kalou, Bosvelt, Ono, Leonardo (50’ Van Persie), Tomasson (64’ Korneev), Van Hooijdonk RKC: Sinouh; Lamey, Govedarica, Van den Berg, De Graef; Van Wanrooij (86’ Van Dinteren), Van Diemen, Fuchs (72’ Hoogendorp), Cornelisse; Janssen, Putter (72’ Molhoek). Referee: H. van Dijk Yellow card: Lamey, Putter
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