Luis Sinisterra was not expected to play a key role in the game at FC Utrecht. The Colombian was still looking for rhythm after more than a week without doing much in training and so started on the bench. Without Sinisterra, head coach Dick Advocaat was forced to adopt a different system.
Feyenoord played in a 3-5-2 formation against FC Utrecht, but poor ball retention skills created a world of problems for the visitors on more than one occasion. The hosts took full advance to grab the lead within the first quarter of an hour. Leroy Fer had the misfortune to put the ball into his own net from a home corner.
With his side clearly finding it tough-going, Advocaat switched back to a familiar 4-3-3 after the opening goal. Feyenoord started to get more of a grip on the game and managed to conjure up a leveller from a Steven Berghuis corner. The visitors had former Feyenoord player Simon Gustafson to thank for the breakthrough, as he headed into his own net.
Sweet 17 for Berghuis
Once Sinisterra was brought on, Feyenoord immediately looked more comfortable in their familiar formation. The Colombian played a central role in the third goal of the match on 57 minutes as the visitors edged ahead for the first time. Mark Diemers had a shot stopped by the FC Utrecht keeper, but Sinisterra reacted quickest, getting ahead of his man and playing it back to Berghuis. The captain pulled the trigger to make it 17 Eredivisie goals this season.
The goal allowed Feyenoord to put their foot on the ball and take fewer risks. Sander van de Streek went closest to levelling it for the hosts, but Justin Bijlow capped a strong performance with a fine save. The Feyenoord keeper tussled the whole afternoon with Gyrano Kerk, but Bijlow came out on top every time, including a last ditch attempt by Kerk that left the goalie nursing a knee injury.
It looked like a serious injury for Bijlow, who was substituted, but after the final whistle the keeper revealed that the damage was limited. Bijlow expects to be between the posts in a fortnight when Vitesse visit De Kuip (kick-off 16:45 CET). The Arnhem outfit, who are currently fourth in the Eredivisie, two points and a place higher than Feyenoord, take on Ajax in the KNVB Cup final next week.
- Steven Berghuis