First Team

FC Porto outwitted by combative, effective Feyenoord

Feyenoord earned their first win in this season’s Europa League Group G on Thursday evening. FC Porto were beaten 2-0 at a buoyant De Kuip. The Portuguese created a host of chances, but Jaap Stam’s battling side were more clinical, claiming all three points.

FC Porto are opponents with a rich European history, worthy of respect, but Feyenoord were not about to be overawed and allow them to take all the points home with them. That was the message head coach Jaap Stam spread before the match and he was proven right. His players fought for each other, treating the home supporters to an old-fashioned European evening at De Kuip.

Feyenoord were so convinced of their own footballing qualities that they were able to put the Portuguese under pressure with threatening attacking moves several times before the break. The hosts’ speed up front and power in midfield and defence regularly forced FC Porto onto the back foot in their own half. 

The home fans had to wait until the second half for the opening goal, however. Jens Toornstra was the man who forced the breakthrough on 49 minutes. He finished off a fluent move involving Steven Berghuis, Ridgeciano Haps and Sam Larsson. Berghuis switched the ball from right to left and Haps let it run through to Larsson, whose shot was parried. The Swede pounced on the rebound, laying off to Toornstra, who scored with a technically impressive volley.

Feyenoord had chances to double their lead, but the visitors went closest to scoring the next goal of the contest. As well as hitting the bar twice, the Portuguese fluffed their lines on a number of occasions, shooting over or against the post from just a few metres out. And the old adage about taking your chances or paying the consequences certainly came back and bit them.

With ten minutes left, De Kuip was in raptures as Rick Karsdorp edged Feyenoord further ahead. Taking possession around the halfway line, the right back went on a dribble that took him deep into the heart of the FC Porto half. Suddenly he was eye to eye with Agustin Marchesin. The keeper was able to get something on the shot, but it was not enough to keep Karsdorp’s effort out.

With Vermeer keeping well and Feyenoord performing strongly as a whole in defence at the other end, FC Porto were unable to make a breakthrough themselves. So when the final whistle blew players and fans celebrated Feyenoord’s first win in Group G. After two matches, all four teams – Feyenoord, FC Porto, Young Boys and Rangers FC - have three points, with Jaap Stam’s team on top on goal difference (+1).

  • Feyenoord 1
  • Jens Toornstra