Feyenoord started against FC Groningen with ten of the men that had lined up against the Russians three days earlier. Justin Bijlow, who was called up to the Dutch national squad for the first time on Saturday, was forced to miss the match through injury after the warmup. He was replaced in goal by Nick Marsman.
The home keeper had plenty to do in the first half. First, he needed to be alert to a high ball from Gabriel Gudmundsson, which threatened to sneak in under the bar. Marsman then turned shot-stopper when Remco Balk pulled the trigger. But he was then well beaten by a Balk punt that rattled the bar. Groningen was clearly creating the best chances.
Yet it was Feyenoord that looked to have grabbed the opening goal. Not long before the break, Mark Diemers finished well from a measured Tyrell Malacia pass. Diemers was halfway down the pitch celebrating when referee Danny Makkelie spoiled the party, ruling the goal out after a VAR intervention. Striker Bryan Linssen was deemed to be interfering with play in an offside position in front of FC Groningen keeper Sergio Padt.
The breakthrough did come for the hosts just after the break. Steven Berghuis curled in a corner that Lutsharel Geertruida directed between the posts with a towering header. The right back’s second goal in eight days steadied Feyenoord and the visitors scarcely threatened in the rest of the second half.
In the end, with the clock ticking down, Berghuis even netted a second for Feyenoord. His seventh Eredivisie goal of the season came from a penalty. Berghuis had whipped in a low cross and Ridgeciano Haps looked nailed on to sweep the ball into the net, until he was hauled down by Damil Dankerlui. The FC Groningen man was shown a red card and Berghuis completed the punishment by converting the spot kick, stroking the ball into the right-hand corner.
The win lifts Feyenoord into third in the Eredivisie table after eight matchdays (with PSV still to play), three points behind leaders Ajax and Vitesse. Next up on the other side of the international break is a trip to Fortuna Sittard on Sunday 22 November.
- Steven Berghuis
- Nick Marsman