‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Despite the absence of Shinji Ono, Feyenoord eased to victory in Roosendaal with breath to spare to get back to winning ways in the Eredivisie Saturday evening. The Rotterdam goals came courtesy of free-scoring Salomon Kalou, who netted twice, Bart Goor and Dirk Kuyt. The win will be a fillip to Ruud Gullit’s men, who can now look forward to Thursday’s Uefa Cup tie against Odd Grenland at De Kuip with more than a modicum of confidence.
RBC began enthusiastically, but that fervour soon ebbed away as Feyenoord started to take control. As things panned out the home side was forced to resort to a rearguard action most of the ninety minutes. The Rotterdammers played a focused game, looking solid in defence and showing patience in possession.
The game was still in its nappies when the first opportunity came Kalou’s way on two minutes. Kuyt threaded a through ball into the Ivorian’s path, who looked like adding to his impressive season tally, but the finish was disappointing.
The young striker put things right soon after though, as Ruud Gullit’s side took the lead on six minutes. Kuyt again was the provider as Kalou had the simple task of nodding in at the far post.
That was the sign for RBC to cave in, as Feyenoord took full control of the match. Unsurprisingly, that led to a second goal within a half-hour. A fine move involving a host of different players eventually brought the ball to strike pair Kuyt and Kalou, who set up Goor for a tap in. It was the Belgian’s first competitive goal for the Maassiders.
There could and perhaps should have been a raft of further goals before the break, but the home side somehow held out. Dirk Kuyt, playing his 200th career match – a feat shared by Pascal Bosschaart, went close on a couple of occasions, but saw his best attempt rattle off the post. By that time strike partner Salomon Kalou had already tested the aluminium himself.
Feyenoord looked just as comfortable after the break, grabbing a third goal around the hour mark. Kuyt found himself one on one with keeper Aerts and showed great class in laying the ball off for the unmarked Kalou, who slotted in his sixth of the season.
Kuyt must have realised that his chance of glory would come sooner or later and when it did he didn’t waste it. The clock had ticked down sixty-six minutes when the Dutch international drove in Feyenoord’s fourth goal of the evening.
The visitors took their foot off the pedal after that, as Gullit introduced Magrao and Zuiverloon, giving the less experienced players in his squad some valuable pitch time.
RBC-Feyenoord 0-4 (0-2)
6’ 0-1 Kalou
33’ 0-2 Goor
61’ 0-3 Kalou
66’ 0-4 Kuyt
Aerts; Hertog, Viedma, Hesp, Farouk; Makhout (89’ Stols), Oliseh, Smolders, Guyt; Luyten, Hakansson
Babos; Song (80’ Song), Saidi, Paauwe, Basto; Castelen, Bosschaart, Buffel, Goor (70’ Magrao); Kalou, Kuyt.
Referee: K. Blom