‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord’s last preseason friendly against professional opposition ended in a 2-0 defeat Wednesday, as Charlton Athletic proved too strong at the Valley. In a game of few chances Darren Bent grabbed two goals in three minutes on 60’ and 62’ to give the modest home support something to cheer. The game saw Japanese Trialist Sota Hirayama play the final twelve or so minutes for the visitors after Romeo Castelen – a substitute himself – broke down with a knee injury.
Erwin Koeman made five changes to the team that brushed aside Hertha BSC at the weekend. Paauwe, Vincken, De Graaf, Ghaly will not have had anything new to show to the coach, but Karim Saidi has had little opportunity to demonstrate what he can do – playing just an hour’s worth of football in preseason – so Koeman will have been happy to have had the chance to see the Tunisian in action.
Feyenoord found it tough-going from the kick-off and the first-half display was certainly not the most sparkling in the club’s eight-match preseason schedule. The Premier League side had clear control, but were unable to turn possession into goals. That was partly thanks to a strong performance in the centre of defence by Greene and Saidi. Charlton’s Darren Bent and Danny Murphy tried to test Lodewijks, but neither was able to keep their efforts on target.
The game was a half-hour in before the visitors sculpted their first big chance, to the delight of their travelling support. Hossam Ghaly was the man behind the move, passing to Kuyt who found De Graaf’s head, but when the ball came back to Ghaly he couldn’t keep his shot down either.
With Bahia back in the middle of defence and substitute Snoyl at left back, there was little change in the pattern of play at the beginning of the second half. Unfortunately the Addicks did start to create a few chances and that led to two goals in two minutes for Darren Bent around the hour mark. The first was a curling right-foot drive that rattled off the post, only to hit Lodewijks and roll into the goal for the opener. The Rotterdammers had hardly adjusted to the blow when Athletic struck again. This time Bent towered above Paauwe to head in the second and put significant daylight between the two teams.
Feyenoord tried to get back into the game, but showed little sharpness in attack. Only in the closing stages did Kuyt manage to get himself into a scoring position, but he was unable to convert. Kalou was just as ineffective and was eventually replaced with Castelen just after the two-goal whammy. But it wasn’t to be a happy night for the Dutch international, as a hamstring injury forced him off the park again within thirteen minutes. Trialist Hirayama was his proxy.
In the meantime Charlton looked for the third, but it was Feyenoord that came closest to scoring from a tricky cross from Vincken and a drive from distance from Hofs, but the match ended without further scoring.
Charlton Athletic – Feyenoord 2-0
60’ 1-0 Bent
62’ 2-0 Bent
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Östlund (46’ Snoyl), Greene, Saidi, Bahia; De Graaf; Paauwe, Ghaly (78’ Hofs); Vincken, Kuyt (84’ Pardo) en Kalou (65’ Castelen/78’ Hirayama).
Charlton Athletic: Andersen; Young, Hreidarsson, Perry, Bent (79’ Sam), Murphy, Ambrose (70’ Jeffers), Rommedahl, Hughes, Powell, Smertin (82’ Fuller).