KOEMAN GETS KUIP CAREER OFF TO WINNING START

Feyenoord won their traditional De Kuip preseason curtain raiser Sunday against Hertha BSC – their first in Rotterdam under new coach Erwin Koeman – by three goals to nil. All the goals came in the second half through Dirk Kuyt, Salomon Kalou and Danko Lazovic. Sebastián Pardo and Kalou were the most impressive home players. The Berliners had a less happy afternoon though, as both Okoronkwo and Neuendorf picked up red cards.

Koeman reiterated before the game that his eleven would be very close to his ideal team, so there was a lot of interest in the team sheet. It named Patrick Lodewijks in goal and starting spots for both Serginho Greene and André Bahia, while Saidi began on the bench. The midfield diamond saw Schreuder in the anchoring position, Pardo and Castelen on the flanks and Hofs just off the strikers, who were unsurprisingly Kuyt and Kalou.

Despite the unusual names, Koeman would have been satisfied with his side’s performance in the first half. Up front there were plenty of chances for the hosts, while in midfield Pardo showed some of the form that he displayed in patches last campaign. Central defensive duo Greene and Bahia meanwhile looked composed despite having their work cut out to keep the lively Marcelinho quiet.

When the Berliners did threaten it was not due to the centre of defence, but to individual errors from others. Like Hofs for instance, who lost possession and saw the Germans break in response. Luckily Marcelinho couldn’t keep his shot on target.

Otherwise, Bahia looked comfortable on the ball and even found time to almost give his side the lead on two occasions, only to his header flash wide both times.

The best attack of the first half came after a fine link-up involving Kuyt, Kalou, Pardo and Kuyt again. Hofs fired off a drive that whisked just the wrong side of the post.

The best chance of the opening forty-five was also for Hofs, when Kuyt teed the midfielder up. Hofs passed up the opportunity to shoot however, preferring to set up Kalou, but the youngster was not expecting it and despite an open goal he couldn’t keep his header on target.

The ‘friendly’ part of the match description may not have been totally reliable, bearing in mind the flurry of yellow cards before the break. Indeed, as the second half developed the cards started to change colour and within a quarter of an hour the Germans had been reduced to nine men. Solomon Okoronkwo was the first to go, after aiming a punch at Greene, while Andreas Neuendorf followed him when his second yellow for a foul on Östlund earned him a sending off.

Feyenoord’s approach was much more positive however and the Rotterdammers were rewarded between those two reds. Kalou walloped in a shot that rattled off the bar and the ball fell to Kuyt who nodded into the net.

After the Germans’ afternoon got even worse just before the hour mark the wait was for the home side’s second of the match and it duly came on 69. Castelen’s cross seemed to have been cut out by Tremmel, but the ball squirmed away from the keeper and on to the head of Kalou, who put it over the line.

Feyenoord were giving their fans reason for cheer and the legion responded with noise that in turn raised Erwin Koeman’s side’s spirits. The mutual appreciation society resulted in the third goal for the Maassiders with around ten left on the clock. The vigorous Vincken knocked in an inch-perfect cross that Lazovic rose to plant into the visitors’ net to make it 3-0.

Feyenoord – Hertha BSC 3-0
54’ 1-0 Kuyt
69’ 2-0 Kalou
79’ 3-0 Lazovic

Yellow: Hofs, Östlund, Kovac, Simunic
Red: Okoronkwo (50’), Neuendorf (58’ 2x yellow)

Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Östlund, Bahia, Greene, Snoyl (62’ Lazovic); Castelen (69’ Vincken), Hofs (77’ Ghaly), Schreuder, Pardo (73’ Paauwe); Kuyt, Kalou.

Hertha BSC: Tremmel; Schröder, Madlung, Simunic, Fathi (70’ Boateng); Cairo (58’ Marx), Kovac (46’ Dardai), Neuendorf, Gilberto; Marcelinho (65’ Rafael), Okoronkwo.

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