Despite fielding a frontline of Pierre Van Hooijdonk and Jon Dahl Tomasson, good for twenty-one league goals between them already this season, Feyenoord were unable to break down a resolute Heerenveen defence Saturday night, going down 0-1 to an Anthony Lurling penalty at the Abe Lenstra Stadium. The Rotterdammers hold on to top spot in the Eredivisie, but will be bitterly disappointed they were unable to extend their recent winning run ahead of Thursday’s big UEFA cup game in Germany against Freiburg.

Feyenoord created little in the first period although trainer Bert van Marwijk must have been encouraged by his side’s meanness. There were far fewer unforced errors and incomplete passes than the faithful have gotten used to in recent weeks and that resulted in a much more composed performance. That said, Feyenoord created little in the first forty-five minutes, chiefly because Elmander and Emerton were unable to give target man Van Hooijdonk any kind of service and Feyenoord were too often unable to penetrate deep enough into opposition territory. Heereveen too had little to cheer, excepting a couple of speculative efforts from long-range and the sides went in at the break at 0-0. Pierre van Hooijdonk went deeper in the second half and Feyenoord immediately created two fine chances. First Johan Elmander latched on to a Van Hooijdonk head-on and shot past keeper Vonk, only to see his effort cleared from the line by De Nooijer. Then Van Hooijdonk (again) released Bosvelt, whose strike whizzed just past the target. Heereveen came back strongly and gradually tightened their grip on the game. Rzasa made a goal-line clearance from Bakkati, but it seemed only a matter of time before the Frisians would score. And it was. With Lurling bearing down on goal Van Wonderen had little choice but to bring him down in the box. Lurling got up to take the resulting penalty himself, which he calmly slotted home to give his side the lead. Feyenoord thought they had a penalty themselves when South African goalie Vonk flattened Van Hooijdonk in the area, but referee Braamhaar was having none of it. The disappointment was great, and Feyenoord failed to create a serious chance thereafter, save a curler from Bosvelt. Smolarek and Kalou came on late, but by then Feyenoord were condemned to defeat. SC Heerenveen-Feyenoord 1-0 (0-0) Scorer: 63’ 1-0 Lurling Yellow Card: Van Wonderen Teams: Heerenveen: Vonk; Bakkati, Klome, De Nooijer, Edman; Varynen, Radomski, Jensen; Nurmela, Allback, Lurling (89’ Ebbinge). Feyenoord: Zoetebier; Gyan (87’ Kalou), Van Wonderen, De Haan, Rzasa; Emerton, Bosvelt, Ono, Elmander; Tomasson (82’ Smolarek), Van Hooijdonk. Referee: F. Braamhaar
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