Feyenoord and PSV were once again inseparable as the sides played out a 1-1 draw in Eindhoven Thursday evening. Feyenoord were dominant in a tense encounter, with Shinji Ono outstanding in the middle of the park where he outshined PSV star Mark van Bommel. The Rotterdam goal came from Pierre van Hooijdonk at the end of the first forty-five, with PSV replying right after the restart.

The two sides still cannot be separated after 300 minutes of football between them this season. The Rotterdammers started the game with a familiar eleven, as Tomasz Rzasa reclaimed the left back position from Mauricio Aros. It’s a sign of how much of a mark Feyenoord’s youngsters have made in recent months that Van Marwijk didn’t think twice about kicking off with two eighteen year-olds in his team in a match that will provide a semi-finalist in a major European competition. So it was that Glenn Loovens took over from the suspended Patrick Paauwe in the centre of defence, while further up the pitch Robin van Persie retained his place on the left. Van Persie it was who started keenly, breaking down the wing on three minutes and sending a shot towards Waterreus’s goal, only to see his effort rattle off the outside of the post. It was not the writing on the wall all Feyenoorders had hoped for however, as the game settled down into a battle of wits in midfield. Ono showed the way as the visitors took control of the game, but with the play squeezed into the middle third, there was little in the way of chances in the opening period after Van Persie’s effort. No surprise then that PSV weren’t able to threaten until the 26th minute, when Bouma evaded Emerton and set up Vennegoor of Hesselink, whose shot went skywards. Feyenoord saw a Van Hooijdonk free kick go wide, as they tightened their grip. Van Hooijdonk again went close when he latched onto a long free kick from Van Persie, but Waterreus blocked at the left post and when Zoetebier denied Vennegoor of Hesselink close to half time it seemed that the sides would go in with both defences unbreached. Feyenoord had other ideas however. Tomasson pressured Hofland and when the defender snapped the Dane ran on and shot hard and low. Waterreus was quickly out of his goal however and beat down the effort, but couldn’t direct the ball away from Van Hooijdonk on the egde of the box, who kept up his fine UEFA Cup record to smash the ball into the net with almost the last kick of the half. On balance it was no more than Feyenoord deserved for their first-half dominance, but the lead would last only a few seconds into the second half. Van Bommel pumped the ball upfield from his own half more in hope than anything else, but the ball fell kindly for Kezman who ran clear of Van Wonderen before flicking over the oncoming Zoetebier for the equaliser. It was a sloppy way for Feyenoord to surrender the lead, completely out of step with the rest of the game, but the visitors were quick to regroup and grab the game by the scruff of the neck once more. Pierre van Hooijdonk might have done better when he failed to keep his header down after excellent service from Kalou. But Feyenoord were clearly getting stronger as the game wore on. Indeed, Feyenoord created a number of chances as the game moved toward its inevitable conclusion. In the end the sides stayed in equilibrium as the game finished all square, setting up a nerve-jangling second leg next Thursday in the Kuip, where Kevin Hofland for one won’t be welcome. The PSV defender picked up a yellow card in the Philips Stadium and misses the return due to suspension. PSV-Feyenoord 1-1 (0-1) 45’ 0-1 Van Hooijdonk 46’ 1-1 Kezman PSV: Waterreus; Bogelund, Ooijer, Hofland, Heintze (55’ Gakhokidze); Rommedahl, Van Bommel, Lucius (72’ De Jong), Bouma; Kezman, Vennegoor of Hesselink (81’ Bruggink). Feyenoord: Zoetebier: Emerton, Van Wonderen, Loovens, Rzasa; Kalou (78’ Smolarek), Bosvelt, Ono, Van Persie; Tomasson (81’ Elmander), Van Hooijdonk. Referee: Collina (It) Yellow card: Van Wonderen, Hofland
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