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Feyenoord kick off group stage with away point

Feyenoord played out a goalless draw against Maccabi Haifa on Tuesday evening in their first Europa Conference League Group E fixture. Cyriel Dessers made his competitive first-team debut for the visitors, while Lutsharel Geertruida also returned to first-team action.

Feyenoord’s recent record in Europe suggests that an away point in the eastern Mediterranean is a satisfactory start to the group stage. That said, the mood may not have been quite so buoyant when players and staff boarded the plane back to the Netherlands. That’s because Feyenoord spurned a string of good chances to secure all the spoils.

The best probably fell to Bryan Linssen just past the hour mark. The striker could have capped his side’s excellent start to the second half by finishing off a fine move down the left. Tyrell Malacia laid it off perfectly, but Linssen failed to get his full foot on it and the chance was gone.

Feyenoord had been robustly tested in the first half by the hosts, spurred on by their fanatical fans. Even so, Linssen could have sent his side in at the break with the lead. And had Luis Sinisterra taken a little more time to scan his options on two separate occasions he might have seen the pass that would have sent a teammate through on the keeper.

All told then, with a little more composure Feyenoord could have made a dream start to the group stage, although Maccabi Haifa also carried plenty of threat. Tjaronn Chery rattled one against the bar before the break and the hosts went close to snatching a win in injury time. In the end the Feyenoord defence managed to protect their clean sheet to secure the point and a promising start to the European season.