Feyenoord and Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC have taken the first step towards a talent and coaching development partnership. The two...
Feyenoord beat first division side Helmond Sport in a hastily arranged friendly Tuesday afternoon, in a game that saw Nicky Hofs grab a first-half hat trick. The news was not all good from the home ground of VV Smitshoek in Barendrecht however, as Hofs’ second-half replacement Sebastián Pardo limped off earlier into his game, while Romeo Castelen and Dirk Kuyt were both unfit to play. Kuyt has a touch of flu.
Erwin Koeman scheduled another test against professional opposition before next week’s triple-header against English Premiership opposition. On paper it looked like a good run-out for Feyenoord, a team that finished fourth in the first division last season. And after a series of games against amateur opposition, it soon became clear that Helmond Sport were bent on pushing the envelope against their illustrious opponents.
That positive mindset had negative consequences for Helmond as early as the first minute, as Feyenoord took a quick lead. Joonas Kolkka delivered a wonderful cross from the left, which Van Hooijdonk got his head to, and though keeper Begois was able to keep the big man’s effort out, he could only parry the ball to Nicky Hofs, who netted. Feyenoord built on the opening goal, playing an attractive passing game that brought goal number two just ahead of the quarter-hour mark. This time it was Tim Vincken who crossed, after accelerating past left back Hobbelen. Despite his lack of height, Nicky Hofs was able to jump much higher than any of the Helmond defenders, to nod in his second of the afternoon.
Feyenoord loosened up after the second, allowing the first division side to trouble them on a couple of occasions via outside right Orlando Smeekes and one-time Feyenoord youth striker Sandro Calabro. But keeper Patrick Lodewijks was in the right place wherever he was needed. And ten minutes before the break Feyenoord added a third goal to put the game out of reach of their opponents. Joonas Kolkka was again the instigator. The Finn played in Theo Lucius and the Dutchman found Hofs, who netted his hat trick.
In the second half Koeman took a closer look at defensive pairing Vlaar and Greene, while further up the field Sebastián Pardo took over from three-goal Hofs and De Ceulaer came on for Vincken. The switches didn’t have much impact on the balance of play however.
Pieter Collen forced a penalty when his cross was fisted away by a Helmond defender, but Pierre van Hooijdonk was unable to convert, as keeper Kevin Begois stopped his cheeky Zidane-like chip. More disappointing was the loss of Sebastián Pardo, after just seventeen minutes on the park. The Chilean limped off in pain after stretching a thigh muscle. His replacement was Lorenzo Davids. As the match approach its climax Royston Drenthe, Timothy Derijck and trialist Jacob Lensky all also got their chance, but save a fine volley from Benjamin De Ceulaer there was little additional action to report from a wind-battered Smitshoek.
Feyenoord-Helmond Sport 3-0 (3-0)
1-0 Hofs (1)
2-0 Hofs (14)
3-0 Hofs (36)
Lodewijks; Greene, Vlaar (Derijck, 82), Bahia (Collen, 46), Bosschaart (Drenthe, 82); De Guzman (Lensky, 82), Lucius, Hofs (Pardo, 46/Davids, 62); Vincken (De Ceulaer, 46), Van Hooijdonk (Boussaboun, 60), Kolkka (Huysegems, 60)