Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at 9:52 PM• Mart van Mourik

Feyenoord enjoys a 1-0 lead halfway through the Champions League match with Celtic. After an awkward opening phase in De Kuip, Calvin Stengs struck from a free kick in injury time. The shot from Feyenoord’s number 10 seemed tenable, but goalkeeper Joe Hart misjudged the attempt.

Timon Wellenreuther defended the Rotterdam goal. The closing post saw Lutsharel Geertruida, Gernot Trauner, Dávid Hancko and Quilindschy Hartman in front of them. Quinten Timber and Mats Wieffer acted as controllers in midfield, while Calvin Stengs was at 10. The vanguard consisted of Igor Paixão and Luka Ivanusec, who served from the flanks as the replacement for the suspended Santiago Giménez: Yankuba Minteh.

The opening phase was clearly awkward for Feyenoord, which suffered frequent and unnecessary loss of ball through Wieffer, Hancko and Trauner, among others. The first goal attempt was scored in the fifteenth minute of play by Reo Hatate, who took advantage of Timber’s loss of ball and produced a roller straight at Wellenreuther from outside the penalty area. Just fifteen minutes later, Feyenoord’s first goal attempt followed. Minteh cut in from the right and hoped to curl the ball into the far corner with his left, but his attempt went wide.

Minteh came a little closer to the opening goal in the 33rd minute. Although this time he did get the ball between the posts with a shot from approximately 25 meters away, goalkeeper Joe Hart now managed to save the ball. A few minutes later Wellenreuther got into trouble on the other side. Daizen Maeda had a shooting opportunity after a lightning-fast counter, but Feyenoord’s goalkeeper made an excellent save. Just before the half-time signal, Feyenoord hoped through pinpricks from Hartman (shot wide), Wieffer (header over) and Paixão (shot over); However, the trio lacked sharpness in finishing.

The opening goal was found in injury time in the first half. Stengs was allowed to take a free kick from the edge of the box, which he shot through the wall and surprised Hart: 1-0.