Supersub Cyriel Dessers Scores Late Winner Against Super Eagles' Number One in Rotterdam Derby

By Innocent Benjamin
Cyriel Dessers Celebrates Scoring Late Winner for Feyenoord

Forgotten Nigerian striker, Cyriel Dessers, dampened the heart, and perhaps, eyes of compatriot, Maduka Okoye, with a 92nd minute winner to deny the Super Eagles’ first choice goalie his maiden clean sheet of the season.

Emotions flood Dessers as He Celebrates In Front of the Feyenoord Support

In a Sunday clash billed as the biggest derby in Netherland’s second largest city, Rotterdam, a lot was on the line for both teams. While the visitors, Feyenoord, where seeking maximum points to keep on the heels of leaders and defending champions, Ajax; Sparta were on a mission to halt a rotten run of six consecutive winless games and get out of relegation places.

In the same vein, Nigerian representatives, Maduka Okoye and Cyriel Dessers, had their own personal agendas:

  • Okoye, Sparta’s number one, was yet to maintain a shut-out all season in an underwhelming second campaign following a break-out 2020/21.
  • Dessers on the other hand, had enjoyed a fast start to life at Feyenoord, and coming into the game had the league’s best minute to goal ratio among players to have played 100 minutes or more. However, he started the game on the bench.

Dessers Mobbed by Feyenoord Teammates after Late Winner

In inspired form, Okoye made 3 saves in the first half, to thwart an average but still rampaging Feyenoord attack. This forced Feyenoord coach, Arne Slot, to dip into his arsenal for new artillery and he found that in the shape of Cyriel Dessers, introducing the Nigerian just past the hour mark.

Don’t make it bigger than it is” were the assuring words of encouragement from Slot to a demoralized Dessers who had missed 3 clear cut chances in his one and only start for his new club, against RKC Waalwijk, a match they dropped 3 points.

Having made two more saves in the second half, including a big chance involving Feyenoord’s current best player, Bryan Linssen, Maduka might have been in the right line of thought to assume he had done enough to earn his first clean sheet as he watched the clock trickle into the 2nd of 3 added minutes.

Regarding the save Linssen remarked:

I hate that. I wanted to keep it low, but it came right against the inside of his knee and stayed under him. That sucks.”

In what was the last piece of action, Feyenoord won a corner and swung it to an unmarked Dessers who had the space of the Het Kasteel to side-foot his finish to the far post, beating a disgruntled Maduka.

Maduka Okoye was in Fine Form Prior to the Goal

I know I was pretty happy’’, revealed Slot at full-time who couldn’t hide his emotions as his assistant, John de Wolf, flung his full weight into his arms.

After RKC I had a bad night, I can say that,” Dessers told ESPN after the match. “It shouldn’t actually be allowed, but it did bother me for two or three days. Then I turned the switch. That is the fate of a striker. Then you have to be ready to shoot the next important opportunity. Today I responded well and didn’t let it bring me down.

Dessers Succumbs to Emotions Following a Tough Week

In response to the circumstances behind the goal, Dessers said:

I can’t really explain it very well. I didn’t participate in the game at all, but I felt that the ball was going to get there. It went on autopilot. I hit it well: clean and good towards the corner.”

Having now scored all three of his goals in five substitute appearances, Dessers acknowledged that his reputation in the Dutch city may be centred around his cameos

So far I have scored all my goals in extra time,” he said. “Then you quickly get the label of supersub. I prefer not to. But now I’m just happy that I was able to help the team in that way today. It was not the most beautiful game, but important points for us..

Dessers Fist Bumps the Travelling Feyenoord Support

Dessers left Genk to escape the shadows of the phenomenal Paul Onuachu in the hopes of amassing more gametime ahead of AFCON 2022. The striker now has 3 goals in 1 start and boasts the best goal average in Netherlands. In his last season in the Eredivisie he finished as the league’s top scorer.