Tonight’s Europa League action, between Dutch club Feyenoord and Belgian outfit Standard Liege, was really a tale of two halves. The first 45 minutes were rather poor as both sides were creating opportunities to try and score, it was just that final pass that was lacking that prevented either side to breakthrough. However, the second half was a barnburner as both sides pressed throughout the second interval and the fans were rewarded with three goals, split with two goals for Feyenoord and only one for Standard Liege as the home side managed to hang on for all three points.
There were plenty of half-chances in the first 45 minutes of play tonight, but nothing really ever troubled either goalkeeper as both sides were poor in finishing their chances. In the very first minute of the match, Colin Kazim-Richards had a go from outside of the box, but his effort missed the goal altogether. It was all Feyenoord early as the home side were really controlling the possession and creating the majority of the opportunities early on in the match.
Standard Liege finally had their first chance of the night in the 17th minute of the match when Paul-Jose M’Poku hit the ball with his right foot, came inches of finding the back of the net, but in the end it fell wide of the target. The visitors only had one more decent chance in the opening half when Jeff Louis left footed attempt was saved by Kenneth Vermeer as he forced the Feyenoord ‘keeper to make an excellent save to keep things level.
Feyenoord finally broke the deadlock just nearly two minutes into the second half which really was bizarre. A long throw-in from Nelom Niquel and it took the slightest deflection off of Sven van Beek and it bounced its way into the back of the net past Kawashima to give the hosts a vital 1-0 lead. Terence Kongolo had a header for the Dutch outfit, but his shot went too high over the goal as it went out for a goal kick for Standard Liege, four minutes after the goal.
Standard Liege equalized four minutes after the hour mark through Jonathon Viera. The deadline day signing was in an offside position, however, the ball took a slight deflection off of the Feyenoord goal scorer and the Spaniard toe-poked the ball past Vermeer. That goal brought new life to the Standard side as they really looked like bringing a second goal and stealing all three points from their Dutch counterpart.
Elvis Manu finally beat Kawashima after the Japanese goalkeeper had been denying him all night long. In the 84th minute, he sent a rocket of the shot with a defender draped all over him. He found just a little bit of space and was able to fire it into the back of the net to give the Dutch club a 2-1 lead so late in the match.