THURSDAY 28TH AUGUST
EUROPA LEAGUE PLAYOFF – SECOND LEG
FEYENOORD 4 – 3 ZOYRA LUHANSK
Feyenoord win 5-4 on aggregate
Elvis is the KING of Rotterdam after a late Elvis Manu goal saved Feyenoord’s blushes and fired them into the Europa League group stages writes Ryan O’Grady.
Three lucky goals for Feyenoord followed by three defensive lapses that cost three goals and to round it all off Manu, the substitute, scored the winner in the 92nd minute. The fact that Feyenoord are through will cover up serious issues with their defensive performance tonight, but judging by Manu & Co’s reaction at the final whistle that’s something they’ll deal with that later because now is the time to celebrate their passage onto the group stages.
After a disappointing defeat at the weekend to Utrecht the pressure was on for Fred Rutten and he made two changes to the team, Nelom and Manu were replaced by Kongolo and Basaçikoglu respectively. Feyenoord started well with Schaken winning a free kick just to the right of the box after a foul by Ignjatijević. The Zorya defence dealt with the initial free kick but they could only clear it as far as Schaken on the edge of the box whose shot pinballed off different players before falling to te Vrede but his shot was well saved by Shevchenko. Then in the ninth minute Zorya had a chance of their own, after winning a free kick just outside the box, the ball was floated in and Segbefia got his head on it but it was blocked well by van Beek just in front of goal.
In the 13th minute Budkivskiy received the ball inside the D and turned van Beek before going down inside the box and the penalty was given, however the linesman immediately called over the referee and told him that Budkivskiy was pulling van Beek shirt and on replay he was shown to be correct and the penalty decision was rescinded with Budkivskiy lucky not to get booked for going down easily. Feyenoord replied with a goal from a free kick, it was delivered into the box and was dealt with once more by the Zorya defence but it again fell to a Feyenoord player, this time Vilhena, his shot was also deflected but it again fell to Te Vrede who this time made no mistake and smashed it home hard and low.
Almost straight from the kick off a cross was put in for te Vrede but it was just too high and skimmed the striker’s head. In the 22nd minute the Feyenoord defence fell asleep, the ball was put into the Feyenoord box from the right wing and both van Beek and Wilkshire went for the same ball and got in each other’s way allowing the ball to fall to Malinovskiy but he seemed to panic under pressure from Immers and hit the crossbar when he should’ve at least got it on target. This moment of hesitation was punished almost immediately when Vilhena crossed from deep and Kongolo rose up to meet the header but missed the target, however it fell to Schaken who bundled it in from close range. After the goal Feyenoord seemed to be settling down for half time which meant there wasn’t a lot happened after that only when Basaçikoglu broke clear before sending in a dreadful cross.
The second half started well for Feyenoord, only two minutes in Schaken sent in a cross that should have been easily cleared but Bilyi didn’t seem to know what to do with it, eventually stooping low and heading it into his own net. Straight from the restart the Zorya players sent the ball back to their keeper who was charged down by Schaken and Shevchenko’s clearance hit Schaken right in the face before just going over the crossbar.
After this near miss Feyenoord’s defence crumbled, first Basaçikoglu gave away a foul on the near touchline in the 56th minute and the free kick was converted by Malinovskiy who got the slightest of touches on it with a free diving header. Then in the 70th minute, following a relatively quiet period, Kongolo headed out a dangerous looking cross for a corner but the resulting corner was converted by Bilyi who was inexplicably unmarked inside the six-yard box.
The comeback was complete in the 78th minute when just before he received the ball Immers slipped allowing Malinovskiy to collect the ball and from around 35 yards out scored a screamer into the bottom right corner leaving Mulder with no chance, however you could argue that once Immers slipped the defence could’ve put more pressure on him, instead they backed off allowing him to score and send the ten Zorya fans that had bothered to turn up into ecstasy.
This forced Rutten to bring on two attackers in Manu and Achahbar, for Clasie and Mathijsen respectively. The Manu substitution paid off in the 92nd minute when he received the ball on the edge of the box before impressively spinning and pushing past three players and slotting the ball home to spark rapturous celebrations all around De Kuip including on the bench and in the Director’s box.
FEYENOORD: Mulder, Wilkshire, Van Beek, Mathijsen (Manu 84), Kongolo, Clasie (Achahbar 84), Immers, Vilhena, Schaken, Te Vrede, Basacikoglu (Nelom 78).
SUBS NOT USED: Hahn, Nelom, Steenvoorden, Karsdorp, Vormer, Manu, Achahbar.
GOALS: Te Vrede 18, Schaken 27, Bilyi 48OG, Manu 90+2.
BOOKINGS: Basacikoglu 55, Te Vrede 87, Manu 90+3.
ZOYRA: Sjevtsjenko, Kamenjoeka, Bilyi, Ignjatijevic (Pysko 72), Pyljavskji, Karavajev (Chaykovsky 79), Tsjaikovksy, Segbefia (Ljubenovic 66), Malynovskyj, Chomtsjenovsky, Boedkivskij.
SUBS NOT USED: Santini, Lipartia, Yarmash, Boroday.
GOALS: Malynovskyj 56 & 80, Bilyi 71.
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