‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord won the first game of its Gelderland training camp Tuesday against amateur outfit SV Babberich by two goals to nil. The hosts put in a good performance against the big boys from Rotterdam, but Feyenoord were never really in any trouble after Jonathan de Guzman opened the scoring early on. A lack of precision and a fine home goalkeeper meant that the second goal didn’t come until late on, when Benjamin De Ceulaer netted in a game that Dirk Kuyt was kept on the sidelines, just the day after resuming training.
Tim Vincken started the match well on the right, and with Joonas Kolkka looking good on the other side, there was a chance early on that Feyenoord would simple steamroller over their opponents. That didn’t happen however and when Feyenoord did take the lead it was thanks to an error of judgement by the home keeper and the appetite of Jonathan De Guzman. The Canadian showed tenacity when he went for a high ball, taking the ball from the approaching hands of the keeper and tapped it into the empty net for the first goal of the evening.
It was one of the few high points of a first half that was affected by the blistering heat. It led to a number of mistakes in the home defence, one of which Feyenoord should have capitalised on 21 minutes in. Van Hooijdonk and Greene tested the keeper, before the ball fell to Kolkka who smashed the ball across the goal. Later Serginho Greene headed a Vincken corner towards the goal, but the keeper was able to save.
Driven by hungry striker Stein Huysegems, Feyenoord started the second half strongly. The Belgian showed he knew where the goal was, but was unable to get past the home keeper. But after Ron Vlaar headed wide, the Rotterdammers lost some of their forward impetus.
There was more structure in Feyenoord’s game however, which was due to a strong performance by substitute Lorenzo Davids. The next chance fell to Jonathan de Guzman, who placed his drive between the posts, but the keeper pulled off a fine save, confirming his quality in the meantime. De Guzman was not able to put things right, because Sebastián Pardo was already waiting on the sidelines to replace him.
Another midfielder who looked good on the ball was at the root of the following opportunity. Nicky Hofs saw De Ceulaer make his move and played in a beautiful ball that De Ceulaer finished with aplomb, smashing the ball into the top corner.
Babberich – Feyenoord 0-2
13’ 0-1 De Guzman
85’ 0-2 De Ceulaer
Feyenoord: Lodewijks (46’ Ekramy); Collen, Vlaar (60’ Bahia), Greene, Bosschaart (60’ Drenthe); Abubakari (70’ Davids), Lucius (60’ Hofs), De Guzman (78’ Pardo); Vincken (46’ Huysegems), Van Hooijdonk (75’ Boussaboun), Kolkka (81’ De Ceulaer).