The travelling Feyenoord fans thought their side had gone ahead within five minutes when Smolarek found the net during the visitor’s first attack, but the goal was ruled out and the Feyenoorder yellow carded for hands. Smolarek was not to be denied however, anticipating a Nascimento back pass and stroking the intercepted ball past keeper Van Dijk to hand his side the lead.
The goal soothed Feyenoord, and the away side started to pass the ball around with confidence. The result was a second goal on the stroke of halftime. Elmander put the ball in the box, where it eventually fell to Bosvelt, who steered it through a mass of players and into the net.
The second half was only seven minutes old when De Visser was adjudged to have handled the ball in a tussle with Janssen. Hoogendorp made no mistake from the penalty spot to halve Feyenoord’s lead.
The setback did not appear to have ruffled the Rotterdammers however. First Tomasson had a chance with his head, then Bosvelt shot from distance. Yet it was RKC that scored next: Hoogendorp connecting with a Cornelisse cross to equalise with his head just after the hour.
The game opened up as both sides looked for a winner and it was Feyenoord that found it with a quarter of an hour left. A long ball from Gyan released Van Hooijdonk, who put his team before personal glory, sliding the ball out of the reach of the oncoming Van Dijk and into the path of Smolarek. The youngster finished with aplomb to confirm Feyenoord’s grip on top spot.
RKC-Feyenoord 2-3 (0-2)
34’ 0-1 Smolarek
44’ 0-2 Bosvelt
52’ 1-2 Hoogendorp (pen.)
61’ 2-2 Hoogendorp
75’ 2-3 Smolarek
Yellow card: Smolarek, Van Wanrooy
RKC: Van Dijk; Van Diemen, Nascimento (85’ Kolk), Van den Berg, De Graef; Van Wanrooy (77’ Govedarica), Petrovic, Cornelisse, Janssen, Fuchs
Feyenoord: Zoetebier; Gyan, De Haan, Sprockel, De Visser; Elmander, Bosvelt, Ono, Smolarek (75’ Emerton); Tomasson (90’ Loovens), Van Hooijdonk
Referee: R. Bossen