A new-look Feyenoord won the first match of its Turkish winter break Tuesday with a fine 2-1 win against Galatasaray in the EFES Pilsen Cup. The Rotterdammers won the game with goals by Pierre van Hooijdonk – a tremendous long-range effort – and Tim Vincken. The Turks replied with a Necati penalty, but it is the Rotterdammers that can look forward to a final encounter against Bundesliga powerhouse Werder Bremen coming Thursday, after the Germans walloped Besiktas 4-0 in the other semi-final.

Koeman used the match to blood some promising youngsters and run the rule over a number of trialists who hope to secure a contract with good performances in Turkey. Sherif Ekramy kept goal, while Adalberto lined up alongside Bahia in the centre of defence. Further up field, Jacob Lensky started in midfield and Tim Vincken started in attack. It was expected to be a good experience for the youngsters against Galatasaray, who were supported by a few thousand vociferous fans regaled in red and yellow.

Erwin Koeman will have been happy with how is inexperienced side coped with the occasion against one of Turkey’s most prestigious clubs. Feyenoord found things fairly easy in the early stages and even edged ahead just past the quarter-hour mark when Van Hooijdonk tried his luck from close to the halfway line, catching keeper Mondragon with his pants down – thankfully not literally – to celebrate his return to Turkey with a goal.

Feyenoord looked pretty unruffled, but the Rotterdammers suffered a double whammy before the break. The first disappointment was the loss of Lensky on his debut, who signalled to the bench that he was unable to continue. The second was a Turkish equaliser, which came just before the half-time whistle.

Royston Drenthe had not had the best of first halves and he added to his own misery but bringing down Hasan Sas in the area. Necati converted the resulting spot kick.

Feyenoord were not creating much in the Turks’ penalty area, but what Erwin Koeman’s side did create they did with aplomb. That was underlined on the hour when Van Hooijdonk fed Vincken, who shot hard and low without a second thought to put his side back in front.

By that time Nicky Hofs, Ron Vlaar and debutant Anes Ribeiro were all on the field and Mitchell Schet joined them soon after the goal. The changes did not ruin the Rotterdam rhythm, although Sherif Ekramy was forced into action a little more often. It gave the eccentric Egyptian the opportunity to show what he can do.

A mistake by Adalberto let in Kabze near the end, but the Galatasaray defender shot over. It meant that Feyenoord were able to hold on to the win that puts them into the final on Thursday against Werder Bremen.

Feyenoord – Galatasaray 2-1
16’ 1-0 Van Hooijdonk
43’ 1-1 Necati (strafschop)
60’ 2-1 Vincken

Yellow: Anes Ribeiro, Derijck, Yilmaz

Referee: Mercanli (Tur)

Feyenoord: Ekramy; Greene (55’ Hofs), Adalberto, Bahia (46’ Vlaar), Drenthe (55’ Anes Ribeiro); Buijs, Lensky (35’ De Guzman), Pardo, Derijck; Vincken (64’ Schet), Van Hooijdonk
Galatasaray: Mondragon; Topal (72’ Kabze), Song, Tomas, Ak (46’ Buruk); Sas (46’ Öztorun), Inamoto, Ilic, Aziz (46’ Yilmaz); Sükür, Necati (46’ Sarioglu)
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