‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
The Maassiders recovered from a dreadful start to record another high-scoring victory at De Kuip Sunday. Feyenoord looked good in front of goal, as Kalou (2), Kuyt and Castelen all added to their personal tallies, but Ruud Gullit will be a concerned man on the defensive front. An injury to Karim Saidi saw the Tunisian stretchered off in the first half, while the rest of the Feyenoord defence experienced a bad hair day. They can expect harsh words and corrective measures ahead of the next instalment of Eredivise football in two weeks’ time.
The match started as well as anyone from Den Bosch and environs could have hoped, and so consequently less happily for Feyenoord as the visitors snatched an early-bird lead. A free kick from Verhaegh was poorly judged by Song, who allowed Biekman an acre of space to nod his side ahead after just two minutes.
Feyenoord needed time to recover from the blow. Salomon Kalou was the first home player to raise spirits after a full twenty minutes, Ono, Goor and Kuyt combined well to serve up the ball to the club’s leading scorer. Kalou did what he’s been doing all season to shoot his side level.
The equaliser instilled some much-needed composure in the home side’s game, although the defence was still showing some jitters, especially international veterans Paauwe and Song. Ruud Gullit didn’t like the look of things and invited young gun Glenn Loovens to warm up after only thirty minutes.
But with Feyenoord firing on all cylinders up front, the coach managed to get through the half without making any substitutions. As the chances flowed the Rotterdammers finally took the lead on 35. Referee Koopman didn’t do Den Bosch any favours either, rewarding Uneken’s challenge on Kalou with a penalty for the home side. Kuyt stepped up to score.
When half-time came Gullit decided to reshuffle his defensive pack after all, bringing in Loovens for Saidi, after the North African was stretchered off in the dying embers of the first half.
With Loovens on the pitch Feyenoord stretched the lead on the hour mark. Kuyt struck the bar for the second time in the afternoon, but Salomon Kalou was on hand to convert the rebound to put the home side 3-1 up.
The score looked like being driven up to Godzilla proportions as Ruud Gullit’s side created chance after chance. Kuyt could have had a couple, before he was given a rest with twenty left on the clock. Buffel was his replacement.
The fourth goal finally materialised a minute later, when the Belgian set up the industrious Castelen with his first touch and the Dutch international cracked home the cross.
There was still time for the visitors to be gifted a penalty on 82, when Basto was punished for what looked like an innocuous challenge on Van de Laak. The Den Bosch forward got up to convert the kick himself, as the game ended 4-2.
Feyenoord-FC Den Bosch 4-2 (2-1)
2’ 0-1 Biekman
23’ 1-1 Kalou
35’ 2-1 Kuyt (pen.)
60’ 3-1 Kalou
68’ 4-1 Castelen
82’ 4-2 Van de Laak (pen.)
Referee: M. Koopman
Yellow cards: Biyadat, Haemhouts, Mampaey
Babos; Song, Saidi (51’ Loovens), Paauwe, Basto; Castelen, Bosschaart, Ono (60’ Ghaly), Goor; Kalou, Kuyt.
FC Den Bosch
Mampaey; Verhaegh, Uneken, Beekmans, Haemhouts; Mourad (56’ Powel), Biyadat, Van den Ouweland (71 Euvrard), Biekman, Schulp, Van de Laak.