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Feyenoord through after close encounter in Leeuwarden

Feyenoord edged past SC Cambuur on Thursday night to reach the last 16 of the TOTO KNVB Cup. A spectacular Steven Berghuis goal gave the visitors the lead in Leeuwarden, but the hosts levelled with a penalty. Marcos Senesi grabbed the winner late on to win it 2-1.

SC Cambuur went into the tie full of confidence as the leaders of the Dutch second tier, a position secured by playing good football. Against Feyenoord, the Frisian side showed that their game plan could also cause top-tier clubs a problem.

The home side made things difficult for Dick Advocaat’s side, with fast breaks stretching Feyenoord at times. Standout man for the visitors was keeper Kenneth Vermeer, who did more than most to ensure the game was scoreless at the break.

After some tactical interventions by the head coach, with Feyenoord lining up in a more compact form to close down the open spaces, the second half saw the visitors threaten more. That resulted in a couple of chances, but the hosts did not bow.

The individual class of Steven Berghuis made the difference on 67 minutes. The Feyenoord captain dodged inside from the right wing before smashing in an unstoppable drive into the top left-hand corner. The lead proved fragile, with SC Cambuur equalising on 75 minutes. Renato Tapia made contact with Delano Ladan’s leg; Robin Maulun netted the resulting spot kick.

But Feyenoord managed to pull a win out of the fire in the dying minutes. Marcos Senesi started the attack himself, feeding Luis Sinisterra, who raced to the by-line. His cross was left by Berghuis, so the ball came back to Senesi. The Argentinian had two stabs, the second going in to give his side the victory.

The win puts Feyenoord into the last 16, with the draw scheduled for Saturday evening. Next up for Feyenoord is the last fixture of 2019, a visit to FC Utrecht, kick-off 14:30 CET.