‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord continued their rich vein of form in front of goal with four more to add to last week’s six in Sunday’s Eredivisie meet in Tilburg. The bouquet went to Salomon Kalou who opened the scoring in his first start for the Rotterdammers. But it was Shinji Ono who turned the game in Feyenoord’s favour with a goal and an all-round top performance. Ghaly and Kuyt grabbed the other two goals. The game also marked the debut of teenage defender Gianni Zuiverloon.
Despite a brace of goals in Belgium’s midweek draw in Norway Thomas Buffel started on the bench. His replacement was Salomon Kalou. The young Ivorian showed he has the ability to be as successful as his brother Bonaventure in a Feyenoord shirt, putting in a fine display in his first start.
Willem II-Feyenoord started encouragingly with goal efforts at both ends. Kalou spurned two good chances before the home side threatened Babos’s goal. Song handed possession to the home side and the ball landed at the feet of Bobson, who rattled a drive against the post.
The game settled down somewhat after that, although Feyenoord had the upper hand. Goor and Kalou both had chances to put the visitors in front, but both failed to do so.
The goal eventually came after Castelen had left the field with a minor hamstring problem. On came Ono, and he was the one that forced the breakthrough. Ghaly started the move, but Ono made the running, setting up Kalou, who cut into the box from the right and smashed in a powerful strike that found its target.
Ono pointed up his importance to the team once again at the start of the second half. Feyenoord were finding it tough to create space amongst the Tilburg defenders so the midfielder decided to pitch in a long one and the ball soared into the net with Moens well beaten for the second goal of the afternoon.
The Rotterdammers were able to relax after that and things got even better with a quarter of an hour left on the clock. And it was Ono again who was at the heart of things. This time Ghaly provided the finish to make it three nil.
The gap was big enough to encourage Ruud Gullit to bring on the seventeen-year-old Gianni Zuiverloon (17) for his official Feyenoord debut with ten left. It was a great reward for the rookie who impressed so much on the preseason tours of England and Spain. He replaced Chong-Gug Song.
The Maassiders notched a fourth goal right at the death, with Kuyt netting after some good interplay with substitute Lazovic.
Willem II-Feyenoord 0-4 (0-1)
39’ 0-1 Kalou
53’ 0-2 Ono
73’ 0-3 Ghaly
91’ 0-4 Kuyt
Willem II: Moens; Wau, Van Mosselveld (51’ Hadouir), Van Nieuwstadt, Van der Haar; Caluwé (67’ Kolsi), Victoria, Mathijssen; Reuser, Redan, Bobson (87’ Augustien).
Feyenoord: Babos; Song (82’ Zuiverloon), Saidi, Paauwe, Mtiliga; Castelen (35’ Ono), Ghaly, Bosschaart, Goor; Kalou (67’ Lazovic), Kuyt.