London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2004-05--> All for 20041021
<-Page <-Team Thu 21 Oct 2004 Feyenoord 3 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Herald ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth Rob Robertson auth-> Tonny Kolbech Poulsen
[D Kuyt 22] ;[B Goor 58] ;[D Kuyt 83]
19 of 025 ----- E A

Feyenoord 3-0 Hearts

ROB ROBERTSON at de Kuip October 22 2004

HEARTS were on the receiving end of some appalling refereeing decisions last night which dashed any hopes they might have had of taking anything from Rotterdam.

In a game where luck deserted them, the performance of Danish referee Tonny Poulsen and his assistants was a cause of frustration.

Such was the quality within the ranks of Ruud Gullit's Feyenoord side, it would be stretching things too far to suggest they would not have won without the officials' help. But poor decisions at key moments would have left Craig Levein and the Hearts players wondering what might have been.

Poulsen and his assistants allowed a blatantly offside opening goal by Dirk Kuyt to stand and, to make matters worse, cancelled out a Kevin McKenna strike when it was clear that the Canadian was onside and the man flagged up, Paul Hartley, was coming back from an offside position and not trying to gain an advantage.

There was no controversy over the Dutch side's second goal which effectively killed the game. Belgian internationalist Bart Goor outstripped the Hearts defence before deftly chipping the ball over Craig Gordon and into the net.

It was a difficult night for Levein's side, which lost Mark de Vries with a poisoned toe and Phil Stamp with a stomach bug hours before kick-off.

Their absence meant the odds were always stacked against Hearts, particularly as Gullit's side were able to play a full-strength team packed with internationalists.

The 3-0 defeat was no disgrace, as the Rotterdam team sit top of the Dutch league and include Kuyt and Salomon Kalou, two of the best young strikers in Europe.

Playing in front of a partisan crowd and against a home side which hardly misplaced a pass was an important learning experience for Levein's players.

They did their best to try to shut down the well-drilled Dutch outfit, but in the end it was the sheer quality of Feyenoord's play which won the day – helped, of course, by some bad officiating.

The first poor decision came when it was clear that defender Karim Saidi was well offside when Kuyt sneaked in and then beat him in the air to score with a back-post header in 21 minutes from a cross by captain Patrick Paauwe.

Hearts appeared to weather the storm, but were then hit by the body blow of having McKenna's strike cancelled out for offside against Hartley – who, unlike Saidi at the other end, was not interfering with play – in 36 minutes.

These were the bad pieces of luck Hearts couldn't afford to have against a side with the quality and fluency of Feyenoord. The home side were a delight to watch going forward, and Pascal Bosschaart had a shot cleared off the line by Andy Webster and Paauwe narrowly missed with a header.

The man who ran the show was Japanese internationalist Shinji Ono, who sat deep in the midfield spraying passes all over the park.

It was inevitable that all the Feyenoord possession would lead to goals and with a 4-5-1 starting line-up, it was hard for Hearts to make the ball stick up front to relieve pressure on the midfield and defence.

Realising his problem, Levein took off midfielder Neil Macfarlane as early as the 39th minute, replacing him with Graham Weir and reverting to a 4-4-2 formation.

It had the desired effect and, in the second half, Weir got in behind Paauwe in the box but was denied by a last-ditch tackle which led to a legitimate but albeit pointless shout for a penalty.

Even after the Goor goal, Hearts had a few chances, with McKenna misdirecting a header and Joe Hamill blasting a golden opportunity wide

With eight minutes, left Kuyt scored Feyenoord's third goal to round off a good performance by the home side.

By that stage, Hearts were chasing the game and it was credit to Levein that at the end his team were playing a 4-3-3 formation. In saying that, Feyenoord effortlessly stroked the ball around and it was only the tenacity of the Hearts players which kept them in the game. McKenna did his best up front, but he is no de Vries.

All in all, there was no real harm done to Hearts' UEFA Cup group campaign as it was always going to prove very difficult to take anything from Rotterdam. However, Steven Pressley and Andy Webster showed their international class as they tried to harness both Kalou and Kuyt. In midfield Hartley ran tirelessly from box to box.

Next up for Hearts is German outfit Schalke 04 at Murrayfield in two weeks' time. They would have learned from last night of the need to pacify teams that play the ball smoothly through midfield. With decent officials and a slice of luck, they may just take something from that game.

At the end, the 2500 Hearts supporters – some of whom had been attacked by Feyenoord thugs in Rotterdam before the game – remained in good voice. Their side may have lost, but the fans clearly don't believe they should be counted of the UEFA Cup just yet.

Feyenoord (4-4-2) Babos; Zuiverloon, Saidi, Paauwe, Basto (Mtiglia); Castelen (Lazovic), Ono, Bosschaart, Goor; Kuyt, Kalou (Buffel) Subs: Lodewijks, Ghali, Loovens, Gyan Booked Paauwe

Hearts (4-5-1) Gordon; Neilson, Webster, Pressley, Maybury; Hamill, MacFarlane (Weir), Hartley, Kisnorbo (Stewart), McAllister (Wyness); McKenna. Subs: Moilanen, Janczyk, Sloan, Berra

Booked Webster, Pressley, Maybury

Taken from the Herald

<-Page <-Team Thu 21 Oct 2004 Feyenoord 3 Hearts 0 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © 2004 |