No goals for Feyenoord in year’s first friendly

Feyenoord failed to find the net in the first friendly of 2013 against AGOVV on Saturday. The game ended goalless against the second-tied Apeldoorn-based side despite some heavy home pressure after the break. Coach Ronald Koeman gave a run out to two full teams during the game, including youth players Lucas Woudenberg and Sven van Beek, who both made their debut in a first team fixture.

Before the game, Koeman had expressed his delight at the number of tickets that had been sold for the friendly and there were over 30,000 fans in the stadium when the sides kicked off. They would have been buoyed by the news earlier in the day that top scorer Graziano Pellè had agreed a new contract with the club.
The Italian striker was given most of the day off, only coming on for the final half an hour, replacing Omar Elabdellaoui to loud applause. He was not the only regular to be given some rest, as Koeman gave the preference to players with fewer games in their legs.
That also included youth player Lucas Woudenberg, who was making his first appearance for the first team. The talented defender, who started at left back, has trained regularly with the full squad in recent months.
It was a patchy first half for the hosts, as AGOVV took advantage of the big stage to showcase their talents. The visitors were the more dangerous of the two teams in the opening period, with Joey Godee and Paddy John both lively. They could even have taken the lead if their strikers had been a little sharper in front of goal.
That said, Feyenoord were close to taking the lead themselves when Ruud Vormer thumped one against the bar from distance midway through the half.
After the break Koeman sent on a completely new eleven, as had been announced in advance. One of them was Sven van Beek, who became the second young debutant of the afternoon.
Feyenoord pushed up the tempo somewhat, but were initially unable to seriously threaten the visitors’ goal.
That all changed when Pellè was introduced on the hour. The striker was given a warm welcome and almost rewarded the confidence of his fans within a couple of minutes. The Italian got on the end of Daryl Janmaat’s cross, but could not beat keeper Nick Hengelman.
Not long after he played an inch-perfect ball in for Lex Immers, but Hengelman also foiled the midfielder.
Feyenoord started winding up the pressure going into the final fifteen minutes. Openings were created for Achahbar, Leerdam and Clasie, but none of them were able to get the breakthrough. The hosts continued to probe until the final whistle, but the visitors held out for a goalless draw.
Feyenoord – AGOVV 0-0
Referee: Higler
Yellow: Van Beek, Pellè (Feyenoord), Reekers (AGOVV)
Feyenoord (first half): Mulder; Mokotjo, De Vrij, Mathijsen, Woudenberg; Vormer, Singh, Vilhena; Elabdellaoui, Te Vrede, Boëtius.
Feyenoord (second half): Lamprou; Janmaat, Van Beek, Martins Indi, Nelom; Leerdam, Immers, Clasie; Elabdellaoui (59’ Pellè), Achahbar, Fernandez.
AGOVV: Hengelman; Tissingh, Evers (46’ De Corte), Pinarci (79’ Bloemendaal), Bakx (46’ Klos); Godee (77’ Hofland), Schulmeister (61’ Reekers), Cruz Vicente (61’ Brouwers); Receveur (77’ Laghmouchi), Fischer, John (61’ Kortzorg).
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