‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord ended a dismal three-match losing sequence on their travels with a comfortable win in Tilburg Sunday. Erwin Koeman’s side finally ran in three goals, although it would perhaps have been a whole lot more if the visitors had shown more precision in front of goal. Jonathan de Guzman opened the scoring and his Feyenoord account in the first half, while Romeo Castelen and Patrick Paauwe added strikes of their own to keep Feyenoord in the upper echelons of the Eredivisie.
On paper it looked like it could have been a tough afternoon for Feyenoord, as the Rotterdammers went into the game on the back of three straight away defeats. The Tlburg outfit seemed to smell blood early on as the home side came out strongly, creating a good opportunity almost immediately when Szombor Kerekes powered in a header within sixty seconds only to see Lodewijks rise well to keep the ball out.
Willem II had looked weak up front in recent weeks and the early chance might have fired up the home side. Fortunately for the Maassiders it seemed to be nothing more than a flash in the pan, as the visitors started to take control.
The first big chance for Feyenoord came on seven minutes when Kalou set up Castelen and the Dutch international lobbed the keeper beautifully only to see his effort go a few centimetres wide of the upright.
Two minutes later Castelen was back in the thick of it, sending in a dangerous cross that got a touch off a defender to take it over the luckless keeper Zois and to the feet of De Guzman who netted his first goal in the service of the Rotterdammers. The home side looked unable to respond and Feyenoord piled on the agony on 21 minutes, scoring the second goal of the afternoon.
This time Castelen thought about putting in Kuyt, but with the top scorer in an offside position Castelen decided to go it alone, rounding Zois and finding the net.
It could have been worse for the home side if Feyenoord had taken some more of their chances before half time. Kalou was left with the keeper to beat on two separate occasions, but each time he was unable to finish appropriately.
The second half started much as the first had ended, as Feyenoord continued to dominate the home side. Patrick Paauwe almost wrapped up the points straight away, but his free kick rebounded off the inside of the post and out. Kalou was next to try his luck – twice in close succession – but the youngster was unable to display the killer instinct that made him such a hot property last season.
The goal ultimately came when Kuyt took a quick free kick to set up Paauwe, who finished off in style to make it three-nil. Aerts was already warming up at that point and when Lodewijks asked Greene to take a goal kick a little later the writing seemed to be on the wall. Yet Lodewijks soldiered on.
Down at the other end the visitors continued to create and spurn chances. A long-distance drive from De Guzman was just wide of the mark and then a Kuyt cross was worked away for a corner by Zois as danger threatened. As the game wound down André Bahia had a fantastic opportunity to make it four but was unable to convert, as Zois whisked the ball away from the Brazilian’s feet at the last moment.
In the end the home side had the last word, when Denissen headed a consolation, but it was too little too late.
Willem II – Feyenoord 1-3
9´ 0-1 De Guzman
21´ 0-2 Castelen
61´ 0-3 Paauwe
90´ 1-3 Denissen
Yellow: Agustien, Feher
Willem II: Zois; Wau, Smit, Van Nieuwstadt, Van der Haar; Feher, Reuser, Agustien; Hadouir (66´ Denissen), Kerekes (51´ Bobson), Dembele.
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Östlund, Greene, Bahia, Snoyl; Ghaly, Paauwe, De Guzman; Castelen, Kuyt, Kalou.