With two tough away fixtures to come, first at Young Boys in the Europa League on Thursday and then at Ajax in the Eredivisie on Sunday, Stam was looking for a good result at home against mid-table Heracles Almelo. Because, as the head coach had said at the pre-match press conference on Friday, good results breed confidence.
The hosts appeared to be on course early on when Jens Toornstra gave them the lead within 15 minutes. The manner in which he grabbed his goal only added to the positive vibe around De Kuip.
Feyenoord retained possession after a corner was only partially cleared and Toornstra let rip from more than 20 metres out. The midfielder’s hard shot whizzed into the top left-hand corner of the net.
The home side created plenty of opportunities to extend their lead. Luis Sinisterra was often in the thick of things, but the Columbian was unable to convert any of his chances. After the break, the visitors tightened things up and Feyenoord made a lot fewer openings. The biggest actually came at the other end, as Heracles Almelo pushed for an equaliser.
Mistakes started to creep into Feyenoord’s play, giving the visitors a route back into the game. The goal finally fell when Orestis Kiomourtzoglu beat a string of defenders before slipping the ball under Kenneth Vermeer’s body and into the net. Things went from bad to worse not along after, with Feyenoord almost falling behind. It took an athletic dive from Vermeer to deny Mauro Junior.
But as the game reached its crescendo it was Feyenoord who started to regain the upper hand. First, Lennart Czyborra managed to head a Ridgeciano Haps effort off the line and, then, Luciano Narsingh had two stabs at a winner, but was unable to get the ball into the net. So, ultimately, the game ended all square.
The draw means that Feyenoord occupy tenth place in the Eredivisie after ten matches, with 14 points, with a visit to league leaders Ajax up next. But first up is Thursday’s trip to Bern in the Europa League.
- Jens Toornstra