Feyenoord 3 Heart Of Midlothian 0

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 21 October 2004

Dirk Kuijt scored twice as Feyenoord cruised to a 3-0 victory in the Group A UEFA Cup clash with Hearts at De Kuip in Rotterdam.

And while the Dutch striker's opening goal was shrouded in controversy with Shinji Ono clearly offside, his second - and Feyenoord's third - was a superb piece of finishing from the 24-year-old international striker.

Hearts had been unbeaten in their last three away matches in Europe but were no match for the Dutch league leaders whose fluent play was simply too much for the Tynecastle side to cope with.

Hearts were dealt a double blow before the game with talismanic striker Mark de Vries and influential midfielder Phil Stamp both ruled out by injury.

And they were immediately made aware of the threat Feyenoord posed when, after just 24 seconds, Kuijt fired a shot from the edge of the area that Craig Gordon held comfortably.

Hearts, though, also had an early chance when Paul Hartley put 'keeper Gabor Babos under pressure from a long Robbie Neilson throw-in.

That was a rare threat from Hearts, however, as they were kept on the back foot by the home side.

Salomon Kalou had the ball in the net after six minutes but his header was chalked off for offside.

The Feyenoord pressure was beginning to tell and Ono fired over after 20 minutes then, seconds later, Pascal Bosschaart sprung the Hearts offside trap to latch onto a precision Ono pass and rounded Gordon, but Andy Webster was back to clear his shot off the goal-line.

The opening was only delayed and sixty seconds later Feyenoord were ahead but in controversial circumstances.

Patrick Paauwe swung over a cross from the right and, while Kuijt was onside as he headed beyond Gordon, Ono was also challenging for the ball from an offside position.

If Hearts felt aggrieved by that decision, there was worse to come after 34 minutes when Kevin McKenna had an equaliser disallowed for offside.

Joe Hamill played a neat reverse pass to McKenna who beat Babos with a low angled shot only to have it disallowed despite Paul Hartley not interfering with play.

The introduction of Graham Weir late in the first half gave Hearts more options up front and they had been more lively when Feyenoord added a second in the 58th minute.

Kalou split the Hearts defence with a perfectly weighted pass through the middle to Bart Goor and the Belgian international raced between Neilson and Webster before clipping the ball over Gordon.

Hearts had a golden chance after 62 minutes when McKenna was left unmarked at the back and was picked out by Neilson's cross, but the Canadian headed back across goal when he had the space and time to hit the target himself.

The impressive Kuijt almost added a third in the 76th minute after superbly controlling an Ono cross before volleying goal-wards, but Gordon touched it over at full stretch.

Kuijt finally got his second and Feyenoord's third in the 83rd minute, stealing in behind the otherwise flawless Webster before showing great control to bring down Goor's cross and sidefoot home from six yards out.

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