On a fiery night in Rotterdam, 10-man Feyenoord beat NEC to win Dutch Cup

April 22 – Ten-man Feyenoord defeated NEC 1-0 to win the Dutch Cup for the 14th time in a match that was halted twice because of flares at their stadium De Kuip.

Igor Paixao scored the winning goal in the second half to send the Feyenoord fans into a delirium. In the 72nd minute, Yankuba Minteh was sent off, but the hosts managed to protect their lead. It was the first time that NEC had reached the final in 24 years and they went toe-to-toe with the Rotterdam-based club.

In the 13th minute, the match was suspended for a short while flares reduced visibility. In the second half, the match was stopped again due to a small fire behind Feyenoord’s goal.

“This final will be watched in more countries,” said Feyenoord manager Arne Slot. “This is not how you want to present yourself as the Netherlands. You don’t want this in any match. After the break, there was a slight panic because they could not extinguish the fire.”

After the final whistle and trophy presentation, the team were celebrated in downtown Rotterdam. The triumph underscored the uptick in Feyenoord’s fortunes with manager Arne Slot at the helm.

During his reign, Slot has led the club to the league title, the cup, the final of the Conference League and several marquee victories against eternal rivals Ajax.

“Of course, I am happy with this prize,” said Slot. “It is not the joy of a league title, nothing can be compared to that. It is a reward for a season in which we have been very difficult to beat. We have not yet been defeated in 2024 and we have continued to develop.”

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