Pointless no more: Feyenoord beats Napoli 2-1 in CL
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Feyenoord finally secured its first points in its last game in Champions League Group F, rallying from a goal down to beat Napoli 2-1 on Wednesday.
It cost Napoli a berth in the knockout stage.
Napoli’s defeat combined with Shakhtar Donestsk beating group winner Manchester City 2-1 to finish second, meant Napoli heads to the Europa League.
Midfielder Piotr Zielinski put Napoli ahead after just 96 seconds, firing the ball hard into the roof of the net after Feyenoord failed to clear a free kick from Amadou Diawara.
Nicolai Jorgensen equalized a half-hour later and substitute Jeremiah St. Juste headed an injury-time winner while Feyenoord was reduced to 10 men.
With Feyenoord already eliminated after losing its first five Group F matches, coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst gave second-choice goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer a start and 18-year-old Tyrell Malacia a Champions League debut.
After conceding the early goal, Feyenoord scrambled to keep down the score. Vermeer came off his line fast to deny Dries Mertens in the 18th minute and Renato Tapia made a good sliding challenge barely a minute later as Jose Callejon looked set to poke the ball into an empty net.
Van Bronckhorst’s team was less composed near the Napoli goal until the 33rd when Jorgensen rose between three Napoli defenders to head home a Steven Berghuis cross from the right.
Feyenoord played the closing minutes with 10 men after Tonny Vilhena was sent off for his second yellow card and with visibility reduced by smoke from flares lit up by fans at De Kuip Stadium.
The home team pressed despite being a man down, and St. Juste crowned Feyenoord’s best European performance of the season with a headed goal a minute into injury time.