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Feyenoord qualify for Europa League playoffs

Feyenoord drew 1-1 with Dinamo Tbilisi in Georgia on Thursday night. That means Jaap Stam’s men have secured their place in the Europa League playoffs, winning 5-1 on aggregate after last week’s 4-0 home victory.

Head coach Stam said before the match that Feyenoord could not afford to take it easy in Tbilisi after the first leg. His team responded with an attacking frame of mind, making it hard for the hosts to build any pressure early on in their increasingly desperate quest for goals.

There were good opportunities for Luciano Narsingh and Steven Berghuis, among others, in the opening 45 minutes, but the sides went in at the break with the game scoreless. Feyenoord keeper Kenneth Vermeer was forced into action once in the first half, saving well when Nodar Kavtaradze tested him with a hard shot.

Vermeer did find himself picking the ball out of the net on 52 minutes. Levan Shengelia intercepted a Jan-Arie van der Heijden pass to storm through and score. The visitors levelled things up within five minutes though. Captain Eric Botteghin got his head to a corner. The ball hit an opponent’s foot, but Botteghin stabbed home the rebound.

In the Europa League playoff, Feyenoord will meet Hapoel Beer Sheva, who beat IFK Nörrkoping in Israel on Thursday night. Next up for Feyenoord is Sunday’s home fixture against FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie.