‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Dirk Kuyt inspired Feyenoord to another preseason win in his first appearance since the World Cup Friday evening, when first division outfit AGOVV Apeldoorn were brushed aside by five goals to nil. Despite an endless stream of rumours, the apparently unsettled striker put in a fine performance against coach Rini Coolen’s side, netting twice. Theo Lucius also grabbed a brace, while Nicky Hofs was the other Feyenoord scorer in a game played on the home side’s new artificial surface.
Kuyt has been happy to tell anyone who’ll listen that he’s looking forward to the new season. Even if that is at Feyenoord, clarified the striker time and again. And Kuyt proved that he was not exaggerating with a performance characterised by commitment and dedication from the first minute at Apeldoorn’s Berg en Bos stadium. Indeed, Kuyt was the instigator of the first attack of the evening, which he also finished, albeit with less sharpness than he would have liked, aiming his shot just too high.
If one thing was certain it was that Kuyt’s return to the starting line-up hadn’t taken the edge off Feyenoord’s play. The first division side were scarcely allowed to venture out of their own half in the opening period and a Rotterdam goal had an inevitability about it. When it came it was Nicky Hofs who got it, curling a free kick in as the home defence dillied and dallied. The vehement protests of home keeper Raimond van der Gouw had no effect on the referee, who pointed to the centre circle.
The second strike came soon after, when Theo Lucius header in Jonathan de Guzman’s corner with power and then Kuyt got a goal of his own on 25. Serginho Greene’s pass split the defence in two, and Kuyt repaid the compliment by chipping the ball over the chanceless Van der Gouw for his first goal in preseason. Indeed, Feyenoord might have gone in four ahead, but Lucius was unlucky, when he hit the post.
As if he hadn’t given the spectators enough pleasure in the first half, Kuyt had everyone on their feet in the opening ten minutes of the second. First he rattled in a shot from an indirect free kick that was not far from finding the net and then on 55 he beat his man, raced toward goal and placed his shot cleverly out of reach to make it 0-4.
One of the evening’s other strong performers Lucius doubled his own tally on 68, with a shot that the experienced Van der Gouw got a hand to but couldn’t deflect away from his goal.
There would be no more goals, but there was to be a standing ovation ten minutes before the end, as Kuyt took a well deserved early rest. He was replaced by Pierre van Hooijdonk.
AGOVV – Feyenoord 0-5
9’ 0-1 Hofs
18’ 0-2 Lucius
25’ 0-3 Kuyt
55’ 0-4 Kuyt
68’ 0-5 Lucius
Feyenoord: Timmer; Greene, Vlaar, Bahia (74’ Collen), Drenthe; Hofs, Lucius, De Guzman; Huysegems (80’ Boussaboun), Kuyt (80’ Van Hooijdonk), De Ceulaer (58’ Kolkka).