Feyenoord blows two-goal lead against Midtjylland, settles for 2-2 draw
Feyenoord failed to pull ahead as the points leader in Europa League Group F, after trainer Arne Slot’s team blew a comfortable two-goal lead in the second half against FC Midtjylland. Despite a comfortable 0-2 lead at halftime, victory slipped through Feyenoord’s fingers in the 85th minute, with the match ending in a 2-2 draw on Thursday evening.
The Rotterdammers saw little gain from the other group teams, Sturm Graz and Lazio, also playing to a draw (0-0). Feyenoord lost the first round to Lazio (4-2), and then collected themselves to defeat Sturm Graz 6-0. All four teams have four points after three rounds of play. Feyenoord, which will receive Midtjylland in De Kuip next week, leads on the basis of the best goal difference. Feyenoord has a +4 goal differential, followed by Midtjylland with +3, Lazio with -2, and Sturm Graz with -5.
Lutsharel Geertruida returned to the starting lineup for Feyenoord. The right back has been absent from the team since the end of August due to mononucleosis. He had playing time against NEC (1-1) in a Dutch league match on Sunday. Marcus Pedersen was placed on the reserve bench for the Europa League match against the Danish team.
Slot made another change compared to the match against NEC. Polish midfielder Sebastian Szymanski started instead of Alireza Jahanbakhsh.
Szymanski opened the scoring midway through the first half. The referee first rejected the goal, because striker Danilo appeared to be offside. When looking back at the video replay, Danilo appeared to be onside considering the position of the Midtjylland’s defenders.
Jahanbakhsh wound up on the pitch after about 30 minutes as a replacement for Oussama Idrissi. The winger sustained a muscle injury in his thigh when he tried to sprint.
Feyenoord once again benefited from the presence of the video referee shortly before half-time. The Rotterdam team was awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute, when it turned out that the Brazilian midfielder, Evander, touched Orkun Kökcü’s free kick with his hand. The captain took the penalty himself to make the score 0-2.
But the Rotterdammers were unable to hold on to the lead. Gustav Isaksen scored for the Danish team in the 54th minute with a shot into the far corner.
Feyenoord was under considerable pressure during the second half, but seemed close to victory. The Brazilian player, Juninho, managed to equalize from close range in the 85th minute. The match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Reporting by ANP